Media Evolution

David Campbell, on his Photography, Multimedia, Politics blog has just written a series of interesting posts on the subject of Revolutions In The Media Economy. Well worth a read. There is much sensible analysis contained in the articles and even, usefully, some reasoned and workable solutions to the current problems of how why and who this new media economy will pay for itself.

Of course, web content will have to be funded, at least until we make the real revolutionary leap of actually doing away with money and having everything (including information) available free, with everyone provided for, everywhere, not one human being excluded. But that's one for the future Utopians to pick up on - back to today and Campbell's essay.

Here is a sample paragraph from part one relating to the content of journalism itself:

"...there is the assumption that journalism, as routinely practiced in traditional news organisations, is a
public good essential to democracy because of its history of challenging authority. To put it mildly, this is viewing things through rose-tinted lenses. It’s easy to think that each and every news organisation is run by people who see Bernstein and Woodward’s pursuit of the Watergate scandal as a template for daily reporting. But recent history suggests that much reporting promotes the interests of those in power (think about The New York Times cozy coverage of the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, which subsequently prompted an apology of sorts from the paper) or recycles PR material (see Nick Davies critique of “churnalism” in the UK, and the “10 ugly truths about modern journalism.”). For sure, we need critical journalism more than ever, and there are some good existing examples, but overall it is something to create as much as it is something to protect. With survey’s showing Americans barely trust what they read or see, journalism’s belief in its inherent social value is ill-founded and needs to be re-established."

And this one, which relates to the problem of how the internet publishing can be used to pay for journalism:

"The first thing that is necessary in answering this is to resist the temptation (again) to look back on an allegedly golden age that has been lost. We have to recognise that news and probing journalism has never made money by itself in order to pay for itself. We should not, therefore, be judging the social media future for reporting via the flawed assumption that we are looking for a business model that will do what has never previously been done."

As I say, much of worth here. I could easily quote the whole 4 part essay, the two paragraphs above are just a taster. If you have not already done so, I well advise you to check out parts one, two, three and four. Do it now.

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