Newsroom change -- and panic -- has been building for several years and has yet to stop, says Michael Oreskes, executive editor of the International Herald Tribune (IHT). Here are excerpts from a conversation about the future of journalism.
On how young journalists can find jobs
They need to know how to change. The only thing I can promise you is that whatever is true today will not be true in 10 years.
And you are going to need to learn how to learn and how to master subjects that weren't even subjects when you started.... It's daunting and scary, but it's fun.
On the relationship of wealth and freedom of press
They clearly rise together. There is a lot of evidence that freedom of [the] press improves the function of economies.
I don't know that everyone agrees with that, and I don't know if it is always true. But it is certainly true that as people have more freedom, they want more things. They want good newspapers, they want good Web sites.
There are others that have written on the subject that say that freedom of press in fact helps development. This is a subject of great debate.
On the industry's new business model
I would like to see something that recognizes the value of journalism -- where we build the business on the idea that the quality of our content is actually what we are offering people. And our audiences are loyal to us the same way they were loyal to us when we were in print.
On the pitfalls of online journalism
One pitfall is assuming that the way things are today is the way that they have to be, in other words confusing the technology with the content.
The Internet is like nuclear power. You can do a lot of great things with nuclear power, you can do good or you can do great evil with it.
On sites he thinks are doing a good job
I go to some of the big ones, like the BBC, The New York Times and of course IHT.... I actually like the aggregators. I do look at Yahoo! and Google to see what's happening.
On the 'panic' of journalists and the Internet
The panic has been building up for several years now. When I was in the Washington bureau [of The New York Times], doing some of these Internet-related things, at that point it was just kind of new stuff. Nobody was really scared of it, it was more like, what is it? It's really only five or six years that this notion that we are really in deep trouble has hit people. And I don't know when it's going to stop.
There [are] two issues: When is the problem going to be solved and when are we going to stop the panic. I hope we stop the panic, because I think the panic actually interferes with solving the problem.