So tweeted Jeff Jarvis, quoting Lauren Ashburn completely out of context. The topic on today's Reliable Sources, under the banner "The Poisonous Press: Invective Attracts Attention", was whether the increasingly nasty partisan political dialogue has bled into journalism. Here's the exchange around Jarvis' quote:
Kurtz: People at this table who went into journalism used to think it was about informing the public, digging out inconvenient facts, and now is it all about getting hits on your blog, getting your cable ratings up, getting your circulation to stop declining if you're in this business (holding up print newspaper)? Is that what it's about?Ashburn: You know I think that, what I was trying to say before, is it really comes down to money. There is no money on the internet. There is no money right now in corporations, in major news organizations, budgets are being cut. How many people did CBS cut? Three hundred out of its news force, four hundred? Something like that? There is no money. And if there's no money, you need to. . . I think the bar is higher to do things that will gather that traffic and get circulation.
Ashburn's language certainly could have been more precise, but it's clear that her "no money on the internet" statement referred to shrinking budgets in internet news operations. It certainly didn't mean anything along the lines of "you can't make money on the internet" which was Jarvis' inference.
Sometimes I think Jeff Jarvis' ethos is, Don't let the facts stand in the way of a chance to show how old media doesn't get it.