Journalism’s biggest competitors are things that don’t even look like journalism



Ever since the web was invented, newspapers and other media entities have had to continually expand their view of who their competition is: in the good old days it was other newspapers, and then TV, and then after the web it became other news websites, or maybe [company]Yahoo[/company] or [company]Google[/company]. But even now, their perspective on that competition may still be too narrow — as my friend Om has argued, they are competing with anything that captures a reader’s attention. And I would argue that they are competing with any service that fills an information need.

I started thinking about this again earlier this week, when a link to an old blog post by journalist/programmer Stijn Debrouwere showed up in my Twitter stream, posted and retweeted by multiple people. I couldn’t track down exactly where it came from, but I’m glad it appeared, because it reminded me of how…

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