Thursday, April 28, 2005

Latest or last issues?

Paper seller
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One thing I am paid for is following current debates in the field of media and media studies. Fopr some reason it seems to me at the moment that there is one topic overruling: the future of journalists and especially printed journalism.

The owner of the News Corporation Rupert Murdoch gave a speech a few weeks ago shocking many of his colleagues. Murdoch - who owns for instance the British sensation tabloid The Sun and "slightly" republican FOX News - said to a hall filled with editors and publishers that it is time that printed media starts taking new media more seriously and changing its working methods in towards dialogue and discussion. As The Economist pointed out, it wasn´t as much what he said but who said it. When Murdoch says that they start investing in new forms of media, that means big bucks - or pounds.

I read yesterday an interesting essay from The American Press Institute on participatory journalism. They claim that work of journalists changes radically when everyone is able to publish with low or no costs. They mention trends like journalists who use blogs for getting comments on their article drafts or who publish the entire interview in the Internet.

The most radical enthusiasts have been claiming for years the death of journalism and the profession of journalists. I would say that it´s the wrong judgement. What the We Media essay from The American Press Institute points out rather well, the work of a journalist changes into a facilitator. The work does not end when the article is published. This must be a scary line of thought for several journalists and media houses. That you have to face the reader via more intense communication than nowadays. I just find it exciting. A good journalist in this world is one bringing interesting views to the public sphere, making comments about the state we´re in and creating a synthesis from the chaos and gigantic amount of information. Cool.

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