Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How many professional organizations do we need?

I understand and feel the sadness shared by many as the American Press Institute closes, but I challenge those who were so quick to jump into the OMG, it's another nail-in-the-coffin discussion.

Is it? Or perhaps should at least some of those headlines be rewritten to include the word merge? This is one of the many times I want to jump up and down and scream, "what were we taught in J-school, anyway?!" See, API didn't whither away; it merged with NAA. And the merge wasn't a last-gasp; API had five years (at least) of operating expenses in the bank when it merged with NAA. Five years to re-invest, reinvent itself, or look around and realize that there are a dozen or so professional organizations offering education, direction, and memberships to journalists and maybe it makes sense to combine the talents of those organizations.

I think that's how I'd write the story.

On a related note, at least one astute Washington Post reader asked a question I'd like to hear the paper's response to. Why did that article run in the Lifestyle section? File that under "things that make me say, hmmm."

Look, API was a highly respected, unquestionably professional organization, and much as it will be missed, I repeat, it just might not be needed - thanks to several other, similarly professional and well-respected organizations. RIP API. RIP, indeed.
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