Not by spending days on end in conferences talking about how to save journalism. Too bad, because if that’s all it took you’d think we’d be awfully close to a solution by now. Ditto if all we had to do was good journalism — but we know that isn’t enough either these days. Government intervention? As USC’s Geoffrey Cowan and David Westphal explain at OJR, it’s already happening and has been for a long time. They write in counterpoint to folks like former Washington Post Executive Editor Len Downie who suggest government intervention as part of the mix to save news reporting. (That was particularly rich coming from someone who famously didn’t vote to avoid a conflict of interest.)
More than 70 people, including Rupert Murdoch and Arianna Huffington, will tackle the question during a two-day Federal Trade Commission workshop From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age? that kicks off at 9 a.m. Tuesday in DC. Update: Here’s a direct webcast link .
The FTC is already preparing for an overflow crowd in person but if technology cooperates you can watch from the comfort of your own desk or coffee shop or follow #ftcnews on Twitter. Downie will be there as will Google’s Josh Cohen, Jeff Jarvis, Reuters (NYSE: TRI) Media’s Chris Ahearn, Journalism Online’s Steve Brill, TPM’s Josh Marshall, Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan and our former research head Lauren Rich Fine. (The last six are part of a nine-person, 90-minute panel. Drinking game, anyone?) The full lineup (pdf).