December 19th, 2005

That’s what Jeff Jarvis advocates this morning. I like the idea a lot. He wants a task force within every news organization consisting of its top reporters whose job it is to put Fear in the heart of every complacent publisher, editor and curmudgeon out there who thinks that everything is just fine, thank you very much.

Writes Jarvis:

…the first thing I think a newspaper should do is report about the future of news. Assign your best reporters and editors – the Bejesus Task Force – to get all the prognostications about the future and all the data about the present – about where the audience and dollars are going, about new competition, about new technologies, about best and worst practices, about new definitions of news – and bring it together in a report for the entire staff. Make the assignment clear: Find the most frightening stuff you can. Now is the time to face every devil. Leave none unearthed.

This is for the entire staff. All of this is. If you do this just for management – or just editors, for that matter – it will not work. And it”s not just for the paper. You need to take that task-force report about the future of news and print it in the paper – and online, of course – and ask the people to tell you what to do.

It’s a start. Fear is a horrible motivator, unless you want somebody to jump instead of discussing the point to deaht.

My Soundtrack: When The Sun Goes Down by The Artic Monkeys on WOXY.

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