The Economist created a short video following a discussion earlier this year and online debate on “the future of news”.
It was first posted on YouTube in October but makes some good end-of-year viewing. It is also worth watching as a nice example of storytelling in online video.
The news industry debate put forward the motion that “this house believes that the internet is making journalism better, not worse”, with author, blogger and journalism professor at New York University Jay Rosen defending the motion and author, blogger and writer-in-residence at the University of California, Berkeley Nicholas Carr speaking against the motion.
Nicholas Carr has an interesting piece on Nieman Reports discussing the speed of news consumption online and the impact on journalism.
According to Carr, “skimming” of news is a threat to serious journalism, which requires “deep, undistracted modes of reading and thinking”.
On the web, skimming is no longer a means to an end but an end in itself. That poses a huge problem for those who report and publish the news. To appreciate variations in the quality of journalism, a person has to be attentive, to be able to read and think deeply. To the skimmer, all stories look the same and are worth the same.
The practice turns news into a “fungible commodity”, he writes, where the lowest-cost provider “wins the day”.
The news organization committed to quality becomes a niche player, fated to watch its niche continue to shrink. If serious journalism is going to survive as something more than a product for a small and shrinking elite, news organizations will need to do more than simply adapt to the net. They’re going to have to be a counterweight to the net.
Britannica dropped us an email to let us know about this post: Nicholas Carr, who sits on their board of advisors, has posted this from his own blog: blogging, has entered its midlife crisis, he writes. No one killed the blogosphere, he says, ‘its death was natural, and foretold’.