The best piece of thinking and writing that I've seen emerge from the Chicago Journalism Town Hall is the long blog essay by the Reader's Whet Moser that's running on the cover of this week's print edition. Moser walks us through journalism in the online era, explaining some things that aren't easy to get our minds around, and offers some inconvenient opinions. Such as -- "Traditional journalism, in 2009 AD, is boring and kind of uninformative" -- which, depending on where you stand, is either the least of its problems or the one that's fatal.
Having offered plenty of my own over the years, I'm particularly impressed by Moser's remarks about RedEye -- "It doesn't feel like a city, it feels like a focus group." Rather than introduce a new generation to newspapers, he writes, it's inoculating a generation against them.
Meanwhile, the Town Hall's own Web site is brimming with information, now including the reflections of Ken Davis, who put the Town Hall together and moderated it. Davis warns that what he has to say is "almost as long as a Reader cover story circa 1981" -- but don't worry, it isn't. Those stories were huge!