A Bailout for Print Relics

Minnesota may be getting it right.

According to a HuffingonPost.com article, two Minnesota newspaper staffs will receive state money for multiplatform storytelling training. The money will come from state funds usually used for training industrial workers.

This is a groundbreaking concept, treating newspapers like any other struggling business as opposed to the enemy. My first reaction is to say, “It’s about time.”

But what implications might this kind of assistance have for the relationship between government and newspapers in the future? My hope is that newspapers will not feel obligated to be overly gracious in the form of burying corruption stories or details about other government fiascos. 

I’m really interested to see how this new training strategy will actually affect the newsrooms. Will these reporters take the learned skills back to the newsroom to improve their storytelling abilities, or is this just a feel-good facade geared toward pacifying who believe newspapers are going the way of the dinosaurs?

I’m eager to see what type of training will be offered to these journalists and in what form the training will manifest itself (visiting professors in the newsroom, external training, etc.). Will journalists simply learn that multiplatform techniques are available or will they actually be trained in using programs like FinalCutPro and Audacity?

We shall see…

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