Clay Shirky On The Future Of JournalismJul 15th, 2009 | By James Lewin | Category: Citizen Media, Microblogging
Cato Unbound has published an interesting article by Clay Shirky that looks at the future of journalism.
It looks at the chaos in the world of journalism created by new media, and how maintaining the status quo is impossible:
Like driving, journalism is not a profession â€” no degree or certification is required to practice it, and training often comes after hiring â€” and it is increasingly being transformed into an activity, open to all, sometimes done well, sometimes badly, but at a volume that simply cannot be supported by a small group of full-time workers. The journalistic models that will excel in the next few years will rely on new forms of creation, some of which will be done by professionals, some by amateurs, some by crowds, and some by machines.
This will not replace the older forms journalism, but then nothing else will either; both preservation and simple replacement are off the table. The change weâ€™re living through isnâ€™t an upgrade, itâ€™s a upheaval, and it will be decades before anyone can really sort out the value of whatâ€™s been lost versus whatâ€™s been gained. In the meantime, the changes in self-assembling publics and new models of subsidy will drive journalistic experimentation in ways that surprise us all.
Shirky takes it as a given that the old models for journalism, especially newspaper journalism, won’t survive as both money and attention move away from old media to blogs, YouTube, Twitter and other new media and social media new sources.
But Shirky points out that we’re not just losing old media publishers, we’re losing a “public” that has a shared perspective on the world because of a shared media experience. In the future, the “public” that shares your perspective on the world is going to be not fixed by geography, but by your interests, the sites that you visit and the way you choose to get your news.