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News and content

Education’s sibling – the news industry – continues to suffer under the impact of freely available content and increased end user control permitted by the web. But it is not a field that is going away quickly or quietly. Consider the suggestion that the internet is killing news:

But, content is not necessarily news. News is the verifiable facts that trained, responsible journalists…often spend hundreds of hours tracking down and sifting through and verifying to get to the truth. Real reporting is time-consuming and expensive. It requires a level of investment that many traditional print and broadcast news organizations can no longer afford in the face of the tsunami of free content that is the web.

The real problem is not that we have free content (as the article goes on to suggest, while classifying instances of effective amateur journalism as rare). The real issue is that free content contrasts with the existing infrastructure of newspapers and journalism. Quality “control”, vetting, and rigorous research can (and will) be a part of open content. The models will be created over time. The newspaper industry did not emerge wholly as we know it today. It evolved in response to needs of readers and members of society. Those who lament the decline of newspapers overlook the likelihood of a similar prospect for world of open content.

One Comment

  1. Rich wrote:

    The future of news and education lies in making a similar distinction: content is not news nor is it teaching. For education, knowledge is no longer a strategic advantage but teaching, mentoring and assessing can be. Like journalism, higher education has a proactive role in society: keeping the nation resilient, creative and productive. Rationing out content will not serve that role. We will soon be saying goodbye to the notion of “my course” and “my material” and, instead, focus on mentoring relationships and, like physical trainers, customizing intellectual and skill development programs for our students.

    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 6:25 am | Permalink