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Not An Upgrade – An Upheaval . . .

Clay Shirky has a nice long form essay at Cato Unbound.
NOT AN UPGRADE – AN UPHEAVAL – The hard truth about the future …
I think the drama unfolding in the news ‘business’ is more interesting than reality TV. And it’s real, I think. I think it’s a potential metaphor for library land.
For example substitute library or librarian for journalism in the following quotes:
“The hard truth about the future of journalism is that nobody knows for sure what will happen; the current system is so brittle, and the alternatives are so speculative, that there’s no hope for a simple and orderly transition from State A to State B.”
“As Paul Starr, the great sociologist of media, has often noted, journalism isn’t just about uncovering facts and framing stories; it’s also about assembling a public to read and react to those stories.”
“We can expect changes in journalism to be linked to changes in subsidy. There are many shifts coming, but three big ones are an increase in direct participation; an increase in the leverage of the professionals working alongside the amateurs; and a second great age of patronage.”
“Because journalism has always been subsidized, and because the public can increasingly get involved in activities too complex for loose groups to take on before the current era, journalism is seeping into the population at large, with the models of subsidy being altered to fit that shift.”
“Like driving, journalism is not a profession — no degree or certification is required to practice it, and training often comes after hiring — 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.”
Not possible? How do we avoid this future, evolve, change?

Posted on: July 25, 2009, 6:03 pm Category: Uncategorized

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