Last night at the Financial Follies — the yearly event where journalists dress up and get more drunk than is probably wise among past, present, and future colleagues — I ran into several Reuters people. The question, of course, was "How is your new job?" and the answer was, of course, "It's great!" (because it is!).
Then there was a lot of raised eyebrows "oh really?" like that couldn't possibly be true. So many journalists who have spent their careers at legacy media organizations still do not take start ups seriously, the corollary to which, I think, is that they still don't take the internet seriously. (Being on ello exempts you from this group of people, btw.)
Obviously legacy media organizations have some really great talent, and some of them are actually attempting to adapt. But they often do this by hiring people who do the internet well, then segregating them in a different section or a different floor from the rest of the newsroom and letting them do their thing. That makes your website better, but doesn't make your organization any more nimble.
I didn't leave for BI because I couldn't see a future for myself at Reuters (although there was a fear of future layoffs that turned out, this week, to not be unfounded). I left because I wanted to work at a place where EVERYONE — not just me, not just my team or my section — was on board with the idea that you can taking news seriously while experimenting with tone, length, form, and speed.
Currently we are in this place in the media world where talented journalists who do great things at places like BI are being made offers they can't refuse from legacy organizations and migrating toward them. But I think the momentum is reversing. It's sort of like legacy organizations are playing whack-a-mole with econ/biz/finance writing talent that gets started on the web. But talented writers, often loyal to their internet roots, just keep springing up.
I'd love it if Bloomberg could double all of our salaries forever, but I just don't think it can happen indefinitely. We're one bad economic cycle away from the pendulum swinging the other way.
And then I'll start raising my eyebrows at the legacy journalists. "You're still there? Really?!?!" (In jest, of course. <3 u bbs)
P.S. Everything here is precisely why I'm so excited to see what @weisenthal does at Bloomberg, because I think if anyone can blow up this weird legacy/web dichotomy it's him.