Dave Winer On Reinventing Journalism

Jan 26th, 2010 | By | Category: Apple iPad, Internet TV, iPods & Portable Media Players, Podcasting Hardware, Streaming Video, Video, Video Podcasts, Vlogs

Podcasting pioneer Dave Winer posted some interesting thoughts last week on reinventing journalism:

I have the same feeling about journalism today that I had about computer science in the 1970s. Sure, we had textbooks and teachers, and projects and grades, but there was also an opportunity to invent it as we were going along. Computer science felt like the greatest place to be because there were no older people entrenched with gates erected to keep out bright ambitious young people. That’s one reason I gravitated there.

I felt equally excited about media, as a grad student, but I didn’t go in that direction because intuitively I felt that I’d spend my career climbing a ladder, and as I approached the top, the ladder would be disintegrating. A better way to matter in media, I felt, was through computer science. That intuition proved correct.

Today, 2010, is Year Zero for journalism the way 1970 was the dawn of modern computer science.

Winer’s comments tie in perfectly with the expected announcement Wed of the Apple iPad.

Powerful mobile computers are making newspapers and magazines obsolete:

  • One aspect of adapting journalism to new media is figuring out ways to get information wired users in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Another fact that journalism has to face is that the idea of a fixed printed page is obsolete. This is changing ideas about reporting on news – but also ideas about how design how news is presented.
  • Another key change that journalism needs to adapt to is the core idea of podcasting – the idea that anyone can be a publisher. Devices like the iPhone are making it possible for you to publish content to the Web from anywhere, almost as easily as you an get content from the Web.

It’s obvious that news is going digital, two-way and interactive – but nobody knows what this will look like, yet.

Dave Winer has a vision for this; Steve Jobs has a vision for this. The reality, though, will probably be driven more by the needs and interests of podcasters, bloggers and microbloggers.

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