Thursday, March 19, 2009


This was originally going to be a discussion of's interesting post on 'There is only us,' until I read Nicholas D. Kristof’s 'The Daily Me.'

Newless argues that news is becoming unbundled from the traditional mode(s) of distribution. I prefer democratization, but it is not my post. The argument is that the power of packaging news and advertising is diminishing. The role of journalist has been released from the monopoly of newspapers and news television; anyone can be a journalist now. This is both an exhilarating and scary concept.

Kristoff points out that we as thinking animals like to read opinions that we agree with. We also, to a smaller extent, like to read opinions that are caricatures of the people we disagree with. So if we are now the editors of 'The Daily Me' as he calls it, society will become more confined to its mental bunkers that people will not have to leave.

If you contrast these two articles I start wondering about the future. To me the future of journalism is to play referee and point people to good, well-founded content and illustrate how badly thought out other content is. I think it will also be to aggregate content that people should consider fro0m multiple perspectives.

The bad news is that we just want to read the perspectives we agree with. One of the advantages of the newspaper is that it tried being all things to all people, and that was problematic. But having fielded a few angry reader calls, I know that the newspaper made you think, made you experience emotions and made you call to express your opinion, and that will be lost.

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