PITCH: Is Tumblr the Next Time, Inc?
Once upon a time, the jobs in journalism were all at what we would consider traditional outlets — Time, Newsweek, ABC News, the Washington Post, etc. But these days, journalists who’ve had their pick of those publications are flocking to tech companies like Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter to create stories — content that competes, in breadth and scope, with the highest-caliber traditional publications. As print suffers a slow and painful decline, it’s not just the web that’s changing journalism as we know it — it’s tech companies like Tumblr and Facebook who are launching what could be the new new media movement. But what does this mean for the future of traditional journalistic outlets? Can a journalist remain objective when she’s employed by a company? Are journalists’ future homes in places that aren’t primarily about journalism, and should it be?
Interesting question. A thought on this: Tumblr is also creating a community of writers and journalists who wouldn’t need a job with traditional media with a little help on the traffic or monetization side. It’s one thing for Tumblr to hire people. It’s another for Tumblr to enable people to make their blog their full-time gig — so folks like those who went to Tampa and Charlotte to cover the conventions could rely on their work as their main source of income. There’s a lot more opportunity in that market (they already have the content verticals, without even really trying), and Tumblr could do more to tap the community’s creativity so it becomes sustainable creativity, the kind that strengthens the work they’re already doing.