April 28, 2005

Reading List: Diamonds, Islands and a Meltdown

I'm traveling today and tomorrow, but here's a few things that caught me eye recently.

 Diamonds in the rough: Alan Mutter finds opportunity for newspapers amid the media chaos of today (all emphasis added by me):

"People in the newspaper business today have an unprecedented opportunity to overhaul an 18th Century, Rip Van Winkle-like institution that suddenly woke with a start to find itself smack dab in the middle of the Internet Age."

 No reader is an island: Scott Rosenberg writes about how the Internet enables readers to compare their own authority against the traditional authorities of news media, i.e., newspapers:

"Until recently, each reader who saw the holes in the occasional story he knew well was, in essence, an island; and most of those readers rested in some confidence that, even though that occasional story was problematic, the rest of the paper was, really, pretty good. Only now, the Net -- and in particular the explosion of blogs, with their outpouring of expertise in so many fields -- has connected those islands, bringing into view entire continents of inadequate, hole-ridden coverage. The lawyer blogs are poking holes in the legal coverage, while the tech blogs are poking holes in the tech coverage, the librarian blogs are poking holes in the library coverage -- and the political blogs, of course, are ripping apart the political coverage in a grand tug of war from the left and the right. Within a very short time we've gone from seeing the newspaper as a product that occasionally fails to live up to its own standards to viewing it as one that has a structural inability to get most things right."

 Media meltdown: Chris Anderson rounds up the decline of traditional media, music to radio to newspapers.

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Posted by Tim Porter at April 28, 2005 01:42 PM

I've been inspired by your writing about newspapers, and have started to fuse some observations of legacy institutions: automakers, news organizations, schools. All face the problem of being stuck; all face the problem of irrelevancy.


Posted by: JennyD on May 3, 2005 05:02 AM
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