Journalism will survive changes in technology, even during these troubled economic times.
That was the message that Ed Bean, editor of the Fulton County Daily Report, shared at the Atlanta Press Club’s Newsmaker luncheon with U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson Monday upon becoming the new president of the organization.
“Although we are going through some awful downsizing and stresses, this is also a time of reinvention,” Bean said. “This business will survive. Nobody knows what this business and supporting technology will be a year from now, much less 10 years from now. We don’t know what the new Twitter will be.”
But Bean said that journalists who are trying to reinvent themselves through new outlets will be on the ground floor of the future.
Bean explained that there’s a “distinction between our business and our profession.” Despite the significant drop in the news industry, Bean said: “Make no mistake, our profession is strong.”
As an example, Bean said that the APC’s journalism membership actually has grown in the last year. “That’s just extraordinary,” Bean said.
Bean succeeds Denis O’Hayer, the afternoon anchor with WABE-FM, as president of the Atlanta Press Club.
Looking back on the past year, O’Hayer said his “first job was to keep the club afloat.” He gave much of the credit to Bean, who served as treasurer.
As Bean said: “My primary job as treasurer was to cry wolf each month” about the club’s financial situation.
Now the “toughest job” falls to John Boswell, head of FOX News in Atlanta, who takes over as the club’s treasurer.
Bean did say he’s been asked about whether it was a good move to serve as APC’s president during the recent declines in the news industry. But Bean said this actually was the best time to lead the organization.
“Your colleagues need you and your support more than ever before,” Bean said.
For the record, I serve on the executive committee of the Atlanta Press Club, and it’s wonderful to see the continuity of great leadership. Of course, much of the credit for the club’s success goes to Lauri Strauss, our executive director; and Elaine Hudson, our assistant executive director.