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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

media: inventing the future « Previous | |Next »
October 8, 2009

There is an ongoing global conversation happening around the future of journalism.There are some entry points into this conversation in Australia, the US and the UK.

The Internet is changing everything, and it is revolutionizing and devastating media businesses. New technology – and freedom from the limits of the old means of production and distribution – is enabling the reinvention of the form of news and journalism beyond the old meme of once we agreed on the facts but disputed their interpretation. Also gone is the view that media companies are disinterested outlets whose aim is to educate the public and distill information surrounding the political debate.

The myths abound, even as the newspaper share of total advertising expenditures continues to decline and guides in how to adapt to the changing landscape. If the future of newspapers is one of a smaller audience willing to pay for a niche product supplied by a quality brand, then its a way off as few newspapers currently cut the mustard. No matter politics rules.

The focus of the conversation has shifted to inventing the future rather than trying to preserve the past of a one-way broadcasting or publishing medium. That future is one of distilling the news into an ever-richer contextual record and commentary.

Melissa Ludtke in her introduction to Lets Talk: Journalism and Media says that:

There are times when technological change catches up with an idea. Now is such a moment, as social media transform how people receive and share news and information. Just a few years back the notion of journalism being a conversation, not a lecture, wasn’t embraced widely in an industry content to transmit what reporters learned to audiences expected to consume it.

That means journalists have to find a way to be part of the conversation in the world of social media. Social media are not just tools that journalists can use as they are a form of technological enframing---we are now swimming in the digital ocean.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:49 AM | | Comments (2)


I do wish the news in the Victor Harbor/southern Fleurieu Peninsula in SA would get better. The local rag (Fairfax) is terrible, and it is not really part of the conversation.

We have an ever narrowing 'news' sources -hyperlocal and microlocal sites--- and hard to find commentary on the water issues of the lower lakes and Coorong. We are experiencing both proliferation of sites and existing outlets narrowing their scope (fragmentation).

it looks as if we are returning to the freewheeling days before radio and television launched the very idea of mass media— to the era of partisan newspapers and pamphleteers. Our niches, now, are more niche than ever before.

The notion of a master or national narrative itself—the communal melody that, even in its exclusivity, also binds us together in its tunes and tones—is slowly dissolving into a thousand diverse voices. Isn't that a process of democratisation and deliberation?