On the 2nd of March, in the picturesque Pioneer Women’s Memorial Gardens, swarms of like-minded readers gathered to hear the voices of four journalists discuss The Future of Quality Journalism.
Attending with high expectations, industry professionals Michael Cathcart, Malcolm Knox, Alice Pung, and Ian Townsend, helped continue the mood of excitement for the already successful Adelaide Writer’s Week, with their thoughtful discussion.
Acting as a panel, all four journalists voiced their similar and differing concerns but also their excitement for what is to become of the news, it’s inevitable transition from traditional media to the Internet.
Much to the relief of many avid print readers, the journalists were not convinced that newspapers were on there way out in the near future. Malcolm Knox assured readers that they will continue to find what they cannot obtain from elsewhere in the newspapers.
Even with this optimism it was made obvious that due to the loss of revenue, it was going to be a case of what’s going to survive and what’s going to go under.
Due to the loss of monetary funding, Knox admitted that journalists were being forced to do more for less. But as Ian Townsend said journalists will sacrifice their own time for a story.
But even with the journalists fighting for integrity, Michael Cathcart spoke about how “a journalism that is based on fear is easy to sell”, which made publishing fear more attractive than a story of true substance.
Even with the current financial state, all four writers assured that for them quality was still their main objective, Alice Pung guaranteeing, “the readers are still the most important thing”.
Cathcart, although mostly positive, then spoke about the integrity of the ABC. But voiced his concerns that “it mustn’t be compromised”, admitting at times, especially during the Howard era, it was hard.
On a lighter note, Knox discussed that we still have quality journalism. “The ABC is allowed freedom because it is owned by the people”, he said, but pleaded to all billionaires to help fund a whole ecosystem of independent newspapers.