Norris McDonald’s take

Norris McDonald a senior staff from the Toronto Star addresses the room.

“Every time I hear a Jeff Jarvis, I think that’s fine, but what about the next six months, the next two years?”

The question McDonald asks is how traditional media can stay in business through the transformation, keep their brand and keep their staff working.

This old-school newspaperman isn’t necessarily attacking the brave-new-world booster-ism but asks the practical question about how to keep a business he’s responsible for still running.

An audience member immediately responds: should we let go of assumptions about how the news business works?

Both harken back to the opening address, via webcam, by web journalism expert Jeff Jarvis.

McDonald, a man clearly past 60, responds by discussing the necessity of listening to youth.

He raises the example of sports coverage, which is still slower than radio even 45 years after a young staffer spoke to hidebound publishers about catching up to electronic media.

“Nothing has changed.”

Another silver-haired Star reporter says he, himself, reads all his news online.

“I start at Google,” he says.

“Do you not come back to the trusted sites that are journalistically prepared?” says the guy beside him.

Credibility still has value, he maintains.

Then a younger guy in the room says he sits down with a newspaper if he wants to find out what the prime minister is thinking.


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