Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Let newspapers die: Clay Shirky's Missive on Journalism

Author, teacher and Internet public intellectual Clay Shirky recently published an essay on the demise of the American newspaper, "Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable." The thesis of the piece recently appeared in New York magazine; Emily Nussbaum cited it in her TV review essay on Jon Stewart "Talk Show Fatigue: Only One of Late Night's White Guys is Doing Anything Vital or New."
Shirky's nugget: "Society doesn't need newspapers. What we need is journalism."
I agree.
I would submit that what you hear on ANY radio station-outlet other than NPR, or what's on ESPN...or pundit/personality driven shows on CNN/Fox/MSNBC/CNBC ain't journalism. And yes, forget trying to find it on 95% of the blogs out there. Whether you seek wingnut news, or the succor of all things liberal or ethnic, or what to know the latest on Chris Brown and Rhianna or how to crochet. Note also--much of the demise of newspapers (along with the book publishing industry) has less to do with young people not reading than the fact that (1) the parent corporations tried to run them in robber baron fashion and (2) the parents had toxic lovers whom were financial advisors and/or major debt or equity holders in these very media companies: hedge funds, greedy commercial banks, corrupt investment banking houses like Goldman Sachs, Lehman Bros., Bear Stearns.
Your thoughts?


Anonymous said...

He's right. There's only gossip, opinions and screaming now. Look at that cunt Tammy Bruce calling the First Lady "trash." I'll admit that Olberman and Rachel Maddow aren't that much better on the other side, and then you have black people getting news from Russ Parr Morning Show?
The medium doesn't matter when you have thoughtful professionals researching and writing the news.

Lisa said...

Co-sign, Anon. 4:40pm. That is a very basic idea when you think about it. The format isn't as important as the content.

Anonymous said...

Hold It !!
Hold da Hell Up!!!

DemocracyNow's Amy Good IS Journalism at its best. Careful with those sweeping generalizations... tsk tsk tsk...


Anonymous said...

spelling correction: Amy Goodman

Christopher Chambers said...

OK--she's cool. But a few of the folk at Pacifica are just mirror opposites of the wingnuts on other media outlets

allheavens said...

The Fourth Estate in this country as been dying a slow death for years. But they have hurried their own demise by manufacturing news and information as profitable consumer commodities.

In my 56 years I have never seen such blatant corruption of the truth by the press. It is unforgivable.

Thoughtful research and investigation has been replace by rampant egotism and simpleminded greed.

Knute Rife said...

I submit that Mark Cuban's proposal of pay-per-view news is an exacerbation of the problem. PPV is for Stephen King novels, pop songs, movies, boxing. It's for entertainment. The last thing we need is for news to be packaged any more like entertainment than it already is.

Ochyming said...

Who is to Blame?
Who support THIS nonsense?
Who have more power than any nuke?

People of the West, it is their pocket that move the earth economically!

The only mag i buy is TheWire, it is mainly devoted to Art.