August 12, 2008

Chicago Tribune's Howard Witt Discusses Past & Future of the Afrosphere

Drumbeats from The Urban Report pointed us to this interview of Chicago Tribune reporter Howard Witt. Witt, who broke the Shaquanda Cotton and Jena 6 stories, tells of the power of African American blogs, shortcoming of the white blogosphere and how mainstream media cuts might mean the end of Cotton and Jena 6 type stories.

What say u?


Paula Neal Mooney said...

I think it's funny that the interviewer said "Afro" American. That harkens back to to the '70s for me.

But seriously, I'm glad that Howard Witt realizes the power of black blogs and the blogosphere in general -- and that he won a journalism award.

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theurbanreporter said...


Thanks for the link love. Hope all is well in your Village.


teamowens313 said...

Finally took the time to watch that interview, and I'm really glad I did. That was some pretty fascinating discussion that I think sheds an essential light on the future of mainstream journalism. As someone who spent 20 years in the business as a reporter and editorial writer, the developing link between blogs and mainstream is pointing the way to the future of what journalism is supposed to be about, namely making things happen.

But if we lose the journalists, we are in serious trouble. And as the interviewee points out, we are already quite far down that slope..

Villager said...

Paula - I will come check out your new website. You remain my blogging hero in your ability to monetize a blog. Any suggestions you can share with me would be much appreciated!

Urban Reporter - All is good on this end. You keep doin' what you're doing. Many of us are watching!

Keith - If journalists are depending on hardcopy newspapers for employment ... then we will continue to lose them. How can we turn these new media ventures into employment opportunities for these journalists?

As an aside, I always thought of you as a fulltime musician. I didn't know you are a professional journalist as well!

teamowens313 said...


That's the $10 million question for sure, because you are absolutely right that hard copy newspapers are already in the rearview mirror. People expect to know the news from today TODAY. Waiting for the morning paper just isn't happening anymore. Unfortunately I'm not the guru type, so I don't have the answers. But I do think it for sure lies in some sort of collaboration between the on-line versions of 'mainstream' news organizations and the blogosphere. Because the two definitely need each other, as that interview pointed out.

As for the journalism career, I'm no longer full-time, my brother. Been in gove't for two years now. But prior to that I worked for 20 years in alternative publications, black news organizations, and mainstream dailies both small and very large.

But I've always done my music throughout it all...

Catalectic said...

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Villager said...

Keith - I imagine that your blog is 'alternative media' ... so you are still a journalist in that sense! Also, I bet print media folks were ecstatic that Obama won judging by the number of folks that wanted a hardcopy newspaper on November 5th...

Catalectic - Asante sana! Your words are very kind and very much appreciated. I hope that we give you reason to come back and share your village voice often...