They are responsible for the decline in readership and relevance of newspaper as any of the bugaboos cited routinely as contributing causes - the Internet, pesky bloggers, disinterested youth and that Craig guys from San Francisco.
Why is that? Because risk-averse newsrooms have spent several decades with their collective heads in the ink barrel, ignoring the changing society around them, refusing to embrace new technologies, and defensively adhering to both a rigid internal hierarchy and an inflexible definition of ‘news’ that produces a stenographic form of journalism, one that has stood still, frozen by homage to tradition, while the world has moved on.
Porter believes that it needn’t all be bad news for newspapers. Associate director of Tomorrow's Workforce, a newsroom development project, and author of First Draft, a blog on quality journalism and newsroom innovation, Porter will join the fourth Journalism Leaders Forum on October 17th in Preston.
The panel discussion on "Leading Innovation: what to do, how to do it" will be chaired by Keith Sutton, an award-winning editor and an Industrial Fellow of the Journalism Leaders Programme. Other participants include the person recently described as "the most powerful figure in Britain's £3bn regional newspaper industry," Johnston Press chief executive Tim Bowdler. Other panelists to be confirmed.
The event, which forms part of the residential week programme for participants in the Department of Journalism's new Journalism Leaders Programme, is open to all - practitioners, academics, would-be journalists and others who are interested in the challenges of leading journalism in a digital age.
To attend this free programme at 6pm on Tuesday, October 17th, in Greenbank Lecture Theatre in Preston - as well as the reception from 5:30pm - please RSVP to leaders[at]ukjournalism[do]ac[dot]uk. If you can't be there in person, there are other ways to join the discussion. You can post your questions and comments on this site, or you can view the live Webcast by logging in as a guest at: http://breeze01.uclan.ac.uk/journalismleadersforum/. Better still, do both. And let's get the discussion going.
Applications are currently being accepted for participation in courses offered by the Journalism Leaders Programme in 2006-7. See the website for details or contact the programme François Nel at FPNel[at]uclan[dot]ac[dot]uk.