We discuss it as if it is a bad thing. I, for one, am not willing to shed a tear if all newspapers disappeared.
A better question to ask is: will the internet spell the demise of journalism?
Absolutely not!! Did logistics die with the demise of the horse drawn carriage?
People are concerned about the well being of journalism because that is what is invaluable to the survival of a democracy. The good news is that journalism is not going anywhere even if journalists and journals are headed for extinction. It is being packaged and delivered in a different bottle as we speak.
The internet has spawned a new model of citizen journalists and a distribution channel that is unmatched in its speed and reach – the internet. People with cameras are everywhere – in places where Reuters and AP can only wish and prey they were! Youtube and a myriad wannabes provide an excellent platform for the dissemination of this news generated at the source – unfettered and unembellished. Nut jobs with cameras are everywhere. Don’t worry about the demise of “reality TV” – we will not miss it.
For the 5 people who read the New York Times magazine – you do have the option of bankrolling that drivel. Go on. Do it on your own time and dime. The rest of us are not going to miss it.
Equating journals and journalists with journalism in the name of “authenticity of information” is a disingenuous argument. Can you trust a single story coming out of a single network? When they are not spinning us – the same story looks diametrically opposite on FOX and MSNBC; NYT and Washington Times. These much vaunted titans of journalism completely missed the criminal Iraq war, the ferocious attack on our civil liberties and still cannot cut through the crime that this financial crisis and subsequent “bailout” is – of course there are a few notable exceptions but if you have to read Matt Taibbi on Rolling Stone then who needs New York Times?
The current structure of news generation and dissemination is rigged – from top to bottom – and our only hope is that the internet will and MUST change that if we are to thrive as a society founded on fairness and equality.
Here is Arianna Huffington’s spin on the topic. Not surprisingly, Ms. Huffington runs an extremely successful blog that makes a ton of money off content from newspapers. Yes, she does provide an invaluable service – links on blogs do lead to traffic on papers/other content providers. However, I disagree with her logic that we are moving towards a links and “not for profit” funded investigative journalism – just because she has funded one such venture in partnership with a non-profit. She has done so because she understands the irreplaceable role of “original” and “in-depth” journalistic pieces.
Now the $64,000 question is: what does this new model for entertainment and news REALLY look like? More on it soon…