One of the steady hands at the helm when the Atlantic Monthly first dipped its prow into the waters of Web 1.0, On Point’s Senior Producer Wen Stephenson is certainly well-positioned to talk about the crisis the newspaper industry faces in this brave new digital world.
Wen’s experience at such a venerable institution as The Atlantic makes him apprehend, at a far more visceral level than many of us can, the cultural stakes. And for him, digerati like Monica Guzman—a reporter for the erstwhile “newspaper” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, recently reincarnated as a Web-only publication—may lead the industry out of the twilight.
Maybe it’s unfounded, maybe it’s naive, but for all the painful, frightening aspects of the current upheaval in the newspaper business, there’s something really heartening about Monica’s spirit of experimentation, her try-try-again optimism. Let’s hope her employer shares it. If the news business, like the country as a whole, is going to innovate its way out of this crisis, we all need to find our Monicas.
Well said, Wen. But allow me to add you to that list of pioneers. For your consenting to migrate On Point’s website to Word Press, for leveraging the site’s new interactivity to facilitate conversation, and for—drum roll, please!—now extending the conversation onto Twitter. And I think I am not revealing any trade secrets when I say that comments posted in response to my @wbur prompts did have the desired effect. My personal thanks to all of those who responded.
Look for On Point on Twitter here. And please comment below on what you’d like to see from Wen and the On Point team. I’ll make sure he reads all your comments.
And for extra credit, make sure to listen to this conversation on hyperlocalism recorded at last February’s “meet-up,” and featuring such luminaries as Keith Hopper, Lisa Williams, and Doc Searls discussing hyperlocalism as a news model. I am starting to joke that our meet-ups are becoming analogous to another 90.9. show. Maybe there is more than a nugget of truth in that.