Secret to Journalistic Survival: Real Journalism!

Interviewing Progressive magazine editor Matt Rothschild on Democracy Now! (5/1/09), Juan Gonzalez and Amy Goodman get the now 100-year-old magazine’s high-minded take on the threatened existence of other periodicals:

Rothschild: Well, the magazine industry is in crisis. The newspaper industry is in crisis. A lot of the news weeklies donâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢t know how to function right now; the idea that you have a Newsweek magazine right now, that’s antiquated. That’s a dinosaur. People get the news within minutes or hours; they donâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢t need to go find it a week later as to what happens. So the intellectual reason for being for these magazines is kind of kaput. And their economic model is kaput, too.

So I think magazines, to the extent that they’re going to be able to survive and the Progressive is going to be able to survive, need to become more like books or need to take a higher altitude look at the news and do investigative reporting and give people analysis that they can’t find anywhere else. But if you just say what did Barack Obama say at his press conference yesterday, newspapers and magazines are going to go.

The “cardinal principles” to which Rothschild ascribes his publication’s longevity: “We’re still fighting corporate power. We’re still fighting for civil liberties and human rights and against these foreign interventions that just help the corporations.”