International Herald Tribune Executive Editor Michael Oreskes said today that going to journalism conferences in recent years is "like attending a wake for someone who's not quite dead."
Oreskes said he thinks "the future of journalism is bright," but he warned that as more and more people produce niche -- or "vertical" -- content on the Internet, democracy gets weaker and weaker.
He called it the "the midlife crisis of democracy."
Democracy, he said, allows people to live together despite their differences. But that principle is compromised as people splinter into more narrowly focused groups, he said.
"Verticals are still vital, but opposite to democracy," he said. "We as journalists must build communities that are broad, not just deep."
Oreskes also urged online journalists to hang on to the values of traditional journalism.
-- Nicole Mooradian