Colleagues, when I got home I wanted to look up the actual definition of ecology to see if it really did fit with this effort. Based on the many concepts that came out of this week, it couldn’t be a better fit.
According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition (a bit outdated, but a nice leather-bound hardcover)…
1) the branch of biology that deals with the relations between living organisms and their environment b) the complex of relations between a specific organism and its environment.
2) Then it got interesting. The second definition still under the word “Ecology” actually started with “Sociology” in italics and read: the study of the relationship and adjustment of human groups to their geographical and social environments
Conclusion: What we’re going through now is a sociological change in the way news organizations and journalists relate to the public (and vise versa), and how those organizations relate to the business models they have constructed, and the marketplace they have based those relationships on.
And through this change, we will reshape our focus to no longer refer to newsrooms as rooms, but as an actual news ecology that constantly takes into account, reassess and addresses what happens inside (of us) instead of always focusing on what happens outside (in the public square).
This gives further support to ridding journalism of the notion reporters are detached flies on the wall, and gives support to us embracing our humanity AND possessing the skills to offer appropriate balance and fairness as opposed to
To achieve this would require a new approach to teaching journalism and a different kind of journalism teacher, as well as an evolved collection of “best practices” I could see creating heated debate within the academic sector.
Should be interesting…