Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

A Newshounds' Utopia. (Press & Media)

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

A Newshounds' Utopia. (Press & Media)

Article excerpt

"Imagine" by Liz Cox, in Columbia Journalism Review (Jan.-Feb 2003), Journalism Bldg., Columbia Univ., New York, NY. 10027

At many newspapers, it is, or once was, a hallowed tradition for spirited young reporters to gather after hours at a nearby bar to talk about their stories, gripe about their editors, and imagine how much better their paper could be. Updating this custom for the Age of Focus Groups, Columbia Journalism Review recently persuaded 67 young journalists from 18 papers around the country to get together in small groups to discuss their "Dream Newspaper."

Meeting over half-priced beers on Chicago's North Side, or in places such as the Elvis Room at Mama's Mexican Kitchen in Seattle, the twentysomethings decided that one thing they don't want is more news about J.Lo and Ben. "Newspapers assume our generation wants nothing more than fluff, 24-7 entertainment," said one participant. "That is flat-out wrong." Even so, the Chicago bunch, along with many others, want their Dream Newspaper "entertainment-heavy, but not at the expense of news."

Some of the journalists' ideas were fairly predictable. …

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