I have been in digital since April 1995, when I left the sports department of The Washington Post newspaper to become sports editor of The Washington Post's "new media" company, adorably called Digital Ink. Since, I've spent more than 18 years trying push newsrooms to change: first to acknowledge digital at all, then to understand its importance and now to accelerate the transformation to our digital future. And, sometimes, I've run my mouth publicly about what I have perceived to be the too-slow pace of that transformation.
As a result, I get a lot of notes and calls from people in the journalism that either ask how to break down those mental walls or vent about the frustration of slamming their head into them.
It was the latter frustration that led a former colleague of mine to drop me a note a few weeks ago, and I thought it was a strong entry in the genre. Sure, a whole lot of people in journalism have made the transition or are well down the path. But many have still not. And some subset of that never will, most likely because of willful ignorance rather than over any real argument that the future of journalism lies anywhere else.
Anyway, this former colleague asked me whether it I thought the note was publishable. I thought it was. But, in the end, this person made the decision not to publish it, largely because of the fear of how it would be taken by the newsroom where they work. But I volunteered to publish it here, and that offer was accepted.
Note: This former colleague does not work at Digital First Media, which I assume is obvious from the phrase "former colleague" but should be stated anyway. And this person does not currently work at a company I have ever worked at.
Anyway, here it is...