Nothing is in a name when we attack industry tribes
There’s no need to defend “entrepreneurial journalism” because it doesn’t exist
Is anyone else tired of pointless journalist on journalist attacks? They persist because of the labels/divisions we create amongst ourselves. Most of these labels are meaningless outside of our industry. It’s tribalism at its worst. In the end — we are on the same team.
How different types of journalists see each other
I did an eye-roll when I came across Corey Pein’s piece in the Baffler: “Amway Journalism.”
The tl;dr version: He doesn’t like “entrepreneurial journalism” (E.J.) because it is being promoted by folks like Jeff Jarvis.
Arguments why Corey doesn’t like “entrepreneurial journalism” include [my tl;dr responses in brackets]…..
E.J’s are more concerned about personal brand/twitter than journalism [Straw man]
“At its most ambitious, it means …. perpetual paid speaking invitations and … entree into the exclusive grifterhood of future-of-media experts.” [Straw man]
Kara Swisher, Ezra Klein are referenced too much and aren’t good examples. [They aren’t?]
They “exude disdain” for traditional reporters [I’m sure there are anecdotes, but overall this is a straw man. To be an “E.J.” doesn’t require disdain for traditional reporters.]
They have no ethics and will trade money/popularity at the expense of their work. [Straw man]
It’s not as good or guaranteed of a salary/career as journalists used to have [Cry about it]
Jeff Jarvis talks too much [Who cares?]
This bit about Jarvis ends up being the entire second half of the piece. I’ll ignore it since Jarvis is a big boy and can respond himself if he wants. But I will say — while I was never an official “student” of Jeff’s I’ve learned a lot from him. My career has benefited from having him as a resource and mentor.
I think Corey’s intentions were good. When I responded on Twitter, we had a small and polite exchange. Bottom line, he sees himself as trying to protect journalism from snake oil salesmen, people with lots of talk and no walk. That is an admirable goal, even if he targets somebody I would defend from that claim. But in his attempt at this, he seems to attack all “entrepenurial journalists.” Somehow, I felt accused of being un-ethical, having disdain for other reporters, and more.
Why would we throw everyone in this space under the bus?