Qwoted is committed to exploring the current state of the media by speaking to industry leaders and educating future generations of media professionals. What has social media and technological innovation brought to the table? What can we expect for the future of journalism?
After college, Larry Edelman entered the business journalism field and worked as a tech reporter. A few years later, Edelman moved into editing with stints at the Boston Globe, Bloomberg, and the Wall Street Journal before returning to the Globe. Edelman decided a couple of years ago that it was time to start writing again and is currently The Boston Globe’s Financial Columnist and Associate Editor. “Filling a blank screen with a story that people want to read is a daily challenge. But when I hit upon something that really connects with readers, it’s a meaningful reward,” Edelman says.
Q: The profession of journalism feels more attacked today than in a long time, but also highly necessary. Do you feel that’s true, and if so, why?
LE: The very notion of facts and truth are under attack by political forces that want to gain or hold onto power by obscuring what they are up to. They see journalists as obstacles that need to be discredited. The role of journalists has never been important than it is today.
Q: If there’s one thing you could change or improve about journalism—in any area—what might that be and why?
LE: We need to find ways to financially support newsrooms and to stop the insidious cycle of downsizing. Local news has been decimated and needs to be rebuilt.
Q: What do you think about the role of technology in journalism? Is it helpful? harmful? Something in between?
LE: Technology is mostly an essential tool — making it far easier to gather information, reach people, and learn about what is going on both in your community and across the globe. The biggest downside, in my view, is that technology has made it possible to so accelerate the news cycle that we often lose perspective, context, nuance — any benefit that comes with the ability to cover a topic in depth.
Q: Social media has upended the traditional media landscape. One of the great challenges it creates is authenticity and malevolent actors. How do think journalists and reporters should deal with the rising tide of misinformation?
LE: We must never lose our skepticism or take anyone at face value.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring young writers and reporters?
LE: Make sure you are passionate about journalism, that is something you need to do to feel challenged and useful to our world. Otherwise it’s just another crappy job with low pay and long hours.