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Old media is facing extinction. But if so, what will take its place?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by TheSportsPredictor, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member


    Thus begins the end of the beginning of this must-read book for anyone in the media. Whether you agree with him or not, Andrew Keen's "The Cult of the Amateur" is fascinating. Here are some tidbits I picked up in the first 20 pages:

    * On T.H. Huxley's "infinite monkey theorem", wherein infinite monkeys with infinite typewriters will eventually create a masterpiece, applied to the Internet: "Today's technology hooks all those monkeys up with all those typewriters. Except in our Web 2.0 world, the typewriters aren't quite typewriters, but rather networked computers, and the monkeys aren't quite monkeys, but rather Internet users. And instead of creating masterpieces ... (they) are creating an endless digital fortress of mediocrity."

    * On blogging: "As traditional mainstream media is replaced by a personalized one, the Internet has become a mirror to ourselves. Rather than using it to seek news, information, or culture, we use it to actually BE the news, the information, the culture."

    * On the effects on traditional media: "The very traditional institutions that have helped to foster and create our news, our music, our literature, our television shows, and our movies are under assault as well."

    * On Web 2.0: "What the Web 2.0 revolution is really delivering is superficial observations of the world aroun us rather than deep analysis, shrill opinion rather than considered judgment. The information business is being transformed by the Internet into the sheer noise of a hundred million bloggers all simulatenously talking about themselves. Moreover, the free, user-generated content spawned and extolled by the Web 2.0 revolution is decimating the ranks of our cultural gatekeepers, as professional critics, journalists, editors, musicians, moviemakers and other purveyors of expert information are being replaced ... by amateur bloggers, hack reviewers, homespun moviemakers, and attic recording artists. Meanwhile, the radically new business models based on user-generated material suck the economic value out of traditional media and cultural content."

    * "One chilling reality in the brave new digital epoch is the blurring, obfuscation, and even disappearance of truth. ... This undermining of truth is threatening the quality of civil public discourse, encouraging plagiarism and intellectual property theft, and stifling creativity."

    * "Blogs are increasingly becoming the battlefied on which public relations spin doctors are waging their propaganda war."

    I can't wait to read more of this book.
  2. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    Andrew Keen is a humorless twit and a contrarian for contrarian's sake, a Christopher Hitchens of the online world. Keen had huge backing for his audiocafe.com, as big as any backing anyone had during the late 1990s, and ran the company into the ground in 18 months. Mayhaps if he hadn't run his web company into the ground, he wouldn't have decided to spend his life pissing on everyone's parade. Keen has called anything Web 2.0-related the equivalent to Karl Marx and Communist theory, making his writings sound like Jack D. Ripper railing about what the commies are doing to his Precious Bodily Fluids. For someone who hates the web so much, he sure spends a lot of time with his -- BLOG!

    I'll give him this, though. Somebody needed to step up to take a critical look at Web 2.0, and once Keen realized no one with knowledge and insight was ready to do it, he filled the vacuum like a hoard of dust bunnies.

    Plus, Keen doesn't account for the fact that, oh, there might be a good side to this whole Internet thing, too. Like keeping his carcass employed.
  3. Eagleboy

    Eagleboy Guest

    After seeing your grim replies on the C-J and Sandomir threads, I have to say - I'm not surprised.
  4. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Keen's entire argument centers around how Web 2.0 is BAD for the old media and therefore bad for society. I would be more surprised if someone in the journalism field wasn't interested in reading about some well-presented thoughts about what the Internet is doing to traditional media.

    So far, this book is a very good read. It's actually kind of scary, and not just for people who work in journalism.

    I'm not sure which of my replies on the C-J thread were grim. I'm in favor of the C-J fighting the NCAA. And one of the ways to fight it is to stick it up their ass by finding another way to live blog the game without being in the press box. They didn't continue their efforts that day, but have announced their intent to continue live blogging throught the CWS. Good for them.

    I'll stick by my assertions on the other thread that seating the media in a different spot than they are used to at sporting events won't have much effect on their reportage, at least not in the daily newspaper gamers. Maybe in the longer feature-type articles or SI-type pieces. Let's note the irony -- TV broadcasters are nowhere near the sideline and everyone bemoans the existence of sideline reporters and talks about their worthlessness or their hotness factor. I thought all that up-close access was so valuable?
  5. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    If you put someone who isn't a mere talking head on the sideline, yes, it is valuable access.

    And Keen is dead wrong. The old media will dominate the new media landscape over the decades as the print product goes away. The old media have the brand name and the capital.
  6. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    But old media may no longer have the access. If the only thing old media is allowed to do in the new frontier is write stories after an event is held, it won't last very long. I can see a world where a local paper "buys" exclusive access to cover an event "live" and gain special access to a team or college sports program. Similar to those weekly radio coaches shows. You see more of these media marketing companies extending their reach and their money has to come from somewhere.
  7. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Unless there are also an infinite number of monkeys to gather bananas and feed them to the monkeys at the typewriters, the monkeys at the typewriters either starve to death or must leave their typewriters for many hours every day to find bananas on their own. And they may become so tired from their quest for food -- it's a jungle out there! -- that pounding away at the typewriter becomes less and less appealing, especially since they see other monkeys cavorting with monkeys of the other gender (or same gender, whatever turns them on). Eventually the monkeys give up the typewriters, except those monkeys who are paid to sit at the typewriters.
  8. Herbert Anchovy

    Herbert Anchovy Active Member

    Journalism needs something on par with the Screenwriters' Guild, where any nonaccredited amateur's droppings are rejectable on sight. No questions asked.

    Until there is, expect to see Art and the Redskins fans in your workspace like black flies.

    Old media has the nobility, new media brings the cash. It's the only difference worth noting.
  9. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Old media will still cover games live, and have locker room or interview room access. No exclusive rights to reportage will be sold. What sci-fi world are you living in?
  10. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    That might be, but it's very possible that Old Media is going to have to fight like hell to maintain that access. As the fan reaction to the Louisville situation shows, nobody really gives a shit about our "plight." There is certainly no law that states that the NFL or Major League Baseball has to provide access to the media. They do it because they perceive a benefit to their business for doing so. If at some point they start to perceive that said benefit no longer really exists -- you know, because there are "so many other ways to get that information these days" or "you can read about the game at our web sites" -- then there's nothing, really, to prevent them from cutting off access.

    I don't think DO's vision is that far off base. Do I think it would suck, as a reader? Yes. But there's an awful lot of evidence out there that suggests nobody, least of all the NCAA and professional sports leagues, cares what I think. And until there is mass resistance to cutting off media access led by somebody other than the media, well, that option remains on the table.
  12. Bob Slydell

    Bob Slydell Active Member

    Scoop Jackson to the rescue!!!
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