Monday, January 4, 2010

A nice look at media history and its possible futures

"Down the centuries, people have fought for the right to know more. It would be truly ironic if that struggle were to be halted in the face of history’s most liberating communications technology."

I seldom like quote leads, but I thought this one totally summed up a fascinating essay in today's Irish Times by Roy Greenslade, a journalism teacher in London. His essay does a great job of putting today's media into its historical context. As he traced the past, information speed is what's been increasing over the centuries, not information. As delivery systems change (carrier pigeons through the Internet), improved speed is what we see.

And that improved speed and access has dramatically widened the media we can consume. For example, I'm able to pick up Greenslade's essay. This is a big improvement. So is expanded media access.

But there is a downside. What if nothing replaces old media and it dies? Who will hold government's feet to the fire? We're already seeing this in Milwaukee where the Journal Sentinel isn't covering government as it used to so we have one politician who consistently misstates the truth with only a few bloggers pointing out the emperor has no clothes.

But go read Greenslade for a deeper understanding of what's happening.

No comments: