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Media and news

Newspapers are the current topic of interest on many blogs/news sites. Seattle PI announces it will stop publishing a paper-version, to focus on online resources (which it states will be more than only an online newspaper but will serve as a community platform). Then, the State of Newsmedia provides the happily bleak outlook: “Journalism, deluded by its profitability and fearful of technology, let others outside the industry steal chance after chance online. By 2008, the industry had finally begun to get serious. Now the global recession has made that harder” (for more, but equally depressing info, read their 700 page report).

Steven Johnson states that the financial crisis has taken what should have been a ten-year evolutionary process and reduced it to a one to two year process. Traditional news can’t make the adjustment.

Clay Shirky offers his views: “Revolutions create a curious inversion of perception. In ordinary times, people who do no more than describe the world around them are seen as pragmatists, while those who imagine fabulous alternative futures are viewed as radicals.” On a side note, this article has been referenced by many blogs. I have yet to encounter one strong critique.

If journalism is important, but newspapers aren’t, why aren’t these so-called new journalists critiquing Shirky’s article? At best, it’s being referenced by people who agree with Shirky and ignored by those who don’t. Zero critical dialogue doesn’t hold much promise for “new journalism” as a valuable counter-balance to existing power holders in society. Even the typically cranky are swooning over the article.