Shane Richmond twittered a link that acts as a nice counter to my rather depressing end-of-working-year post from a couple of weeks back. TechDirt explains how its writers stay positive in the face of curmudgeons and technophobes:> The internet is a phenomenal communications tool that very few people had even heard of not so long ago. The world wide web only came into being slightly more than fifteen years ago. The ability to go online and find just about anything you need in seconds is a brand new phenomenon. The fact that you can talk to people, easily, in far away places — make new connections, share stories, exchange ideas, debate, argue and connect, well beyond your local community — is all simply amazing. Beyond online communications, the internet has provided new and amazing tools for business, commerce, entertainment and information that were nearly impossible to imagine by all but the most visionary people just a few decades ago. > > How can you not be optimistic and excited when you look back at how far we’ve come in such a short time, and think about how much further we can go? I have, I must admit, a tendency to ignore how much we’ve achieved at RBI, because it’s my job to look at where we need to go. And the future for journalism should be exciting, even if the process of change is hard. And a [recent post by Kristine](http://kristinelowe.blogs.com/kristine_lowe/2008/12/why-change-in-the-newsroom-is-so-hard.html) reminded me of why changing things for journalists can be so challenging: most of them are still tied to the weekly/monthly grind of getting the paper product on that stands. If we want change, we have to make room for it. And that may be one of the big challenges of 2009.
Change Journalism? Yes, We Can!
Mind you, falling ad revenues may help us, as editorial page counts drop and journalists have more time on their hands. If we can just make that spare time into development time before it becomes layoff time…
Adam has been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 25. He currently works as a consultant and trainer, helping people do better, more engaged online journalism.