We’re still mulling over remarks made last Friday in Lawrence, KS by ProPublica founder and executive chairman Paul Steiger. Accepting the prestigious William Allen White Foundation National Citation from the University of Kansas’s White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, he talked a lot about “golden ages” of journalism.
According to Steiger, the last such era started in the mid-1950s and ran through the mid-1970s. Ergo, ending right around the time a massive amount of students were compelled by Woodward and Bernstein to head to J-school. Steiger takes issue with Henry Blodget‘s 2013 declaration that a new golden age is upon us. He says we’re perhaps close, but not quite there yet:
“Creating millions of lone-wolf, single-person bloggers doesn’t get us to a golden age. It can give us cat photos that make us giggle, news scoops involving an original fact or two, a trenchant analysis of finance or politics or sculpture, video of Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift nuzzling their latest boyfriends, or possibly some movie and book reviews worth trusting. All nice to have but not game-changing.”