[This is a response in part to Clay Shirky’s recent essay, Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable. Update: Jemimah Knigh has a lovely meditation on the past and future of papers on her blog.]
When printing with movable type was introduced to Europe by Gutenberg and refined by Caxton it began a revolution that encompassed the Reformation, the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution and laid the ground work for the current transformation being driven by science-based technologies, a transformation that is increasingly predicated on technology-based science as we benefit from one of those virtuous circles that occasionally catapults our species into an unexpected future.
For the past half-millennium printed books and their offspring, pamphlets and newspapers and magazines, have done the heavy lifting in the trade in ideas, spreading new theories and doctrines and ideologies around, and even offering their services to religion, mysticism and the anti-scientists who would undo all that western culture has achieved.
Analogue electronic media, in the form of television and radio, managed to complement print for a century or so although their role in the formation of ideologies and the distribution of ideas was clearly subsidiary to that of print. Televison and radio news still largely takes its agenda from that set by the print media, and the fact that we still remark on those few significant cultural highlights that are native to the broadcast world, like The Sopranos or ER, shows their failure to displace the printed text and the performed playscript in the broader cultural field.
Continue reading “Take Two Steps Back: A Society Gets the Journalism it Deserves”
Here’s what I’ve tagged on del.icio.us:
Here’s what I tagged on del.icio.us between July 23rd and July 30th:
- Web curbs for Olympic journalists – What a surprise…
- Plenty of Blame to Go Around in Yahoo Music Shutdown – Ed Felten knows who to blame, and I agree with him entirely.
- Exploit code targets Mac OS X, iTunes, Java, Winzip… – nasty little piece of software called Evilgrade that uses a man in the middle attack to exploit automatic update code.
- Consultation on legislative options to address illicit P2P file-sharing – BERR – UK government consultation opens..
- How to make our newspapers profitable again: David Aaronovitch Simulator | The Wardman Wire – ah, how entertaining…
- Google Knol is evil | Seldo.Com Blog – Hard-hitting analysis: is Knol Google's 'IE vs Netscape' moment?
- Rocque London Index Map – Useful for anyone reading Neal Stephenson's Baroque Trilogy, especially The System of the World
- AWS Service Health Dashboard – Amazon S3 Availability Event: July 20, 2008 – "With a large number of servers gossiping and failing while gossiping, Amazon S3 wasn't able to successfully process many customer requests" Excellent explanation, and good communication with customers
- xkcd – A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language – By Randall Munroe – Ah yes… 🙂
- Ofcom report into Social networking usage – some reading for us all I think
- DRM still sucks: Yahoo Music going dark, taking keys with it – And yet the music industry wants ISPs and government to sustain their broken business model…
- Announcing the Open Web Foundation – Open Web Foundation – Could be useful
- Read Giles Coren's letter to Times subs | Media | guardian.co.uk – I didn't expect to, but I agree with him
- Cuomo strong-arms Comcast over Usenet | The Iconoclast – politics, law, and technology – CNET News.com – Nice analysis of a dangerous tactic
- MySQL forks: could Drizzle be the next of the new generation of relational database? | O'Reilly News – Seeing a major system fork is like watching close friends divorce. Wish them both well…
Here’s what I tagged on del.icio.us between June 25th and June 28th:
Here’s what I tagged on del.icio.us between May 21st and May 29th:
[As ever, you can read this on the BBC News website. And thanks to my City students for the inspiration!]
I’ve just finished marking the essays my students at City University have to do as part of the course in online journalism that I teach. They’ve done some good work, especially the assignment where I get them to argue that the BBC should be forced to close down its online service because the license fee is really only there to pay for television.
They also seem to have realised that anyone who wants to break into professional journalism needs to have some sort of online presence beyond a Facebook profile, as it’s the first thing an editor will look for when they apply for a job, so there are a few new blogs and online publications out there that might not otherwise have appeared.
Continue reading “Networking Journalism”