Thursday, January 1, 2009

The future -- and its dilemma

The San Francisco Bay Guardian Online offers its take on journalism's future. Basically, it says there'll be good journalism in the future -- the Huffington Post is cited as an example -- but the problem is finding a business model to pay for it. Frankly, I agree.

A good example of a new media weak spot

         A thoughtful post on a blog about the future of democracy with the decline in newspapers (and it's skeptical about them) offers a window into what I think is one of the problems with the new media. After two screens of thoughtful opinion, we are dumped into the world "citizen journalist" commentators, virtually none of whom address the points made in the essay and virtually all rife with racism (the commentators immediately attacked the press as pro-Democrat, consistently using an especially ugly racist term to describe our next president).
         The point is that the new media needs to grow up if it's going to be treated as an adult. There is some advantage of removing some of the filters employed by the old media that have, in my opinion, all too often limited its scope.  But unfettered comment, unfortunately, has opened the gates to vitriolic, un-thought-out spewing of opinion based on little and with no attempt to support arguments.
      It reminds me far too often of a person I know who often says "Well, I don't know anything about it [it being the subject of the conversation], but I think . . . ."

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The news from India is different than from the U.S.

The reason you're seeing so few posts these days is that I'm in India teaching a backpack journalism workshop at St. Xavier's College. The bad news is that we are having network issues so I'm only getting on line for about 10 minutes a day. The good news is that I am now reading Indian newspapers, which really opens our eyes. Again I'll say that online just doesn't hold a candle to print newspapers, which are much more complete than what I've seen on the Internet.
I am blogging on my experiences (so far most of it on my lack of Internet access). If you're interested, the URL is