Ken Doctor, a Poynter.org contributor, wrote a stirring call for young people to get involved in saving journalism here. In this blog posting, he proposes a plan similar to the popular Teach For America plan, where recent graduates sign on to teach in failing schools for two years (it is quite prestigious).
So let’s start with a News Corps of 1000, and a starting wage of $35,000 a year, a decent start and parallel to what TFA provides…One thousand new journalists would be a start and a no-lose test. I guarantee we’d learn things about the craft of journalism that we’ve only conjectured about.
One key ingredient for this plan to work would be the separation of the young journalist from the “traditional newsroom.” As a young journalist in a newsroom, all you do is try to find your style by imitating those styles around you.
That will not produce new ideas.
What we need is a corps of young journalists, fresh out of colleges from across the country, who are brimming with new ideas. We need those who have tried things that have worked and things that have failed.
We need a fresh voice. Too often in newspapers, we try to guess what young readers would want, yet we never actually go to the source. Why not let our young writers try to figure it out?