The system is slowly destroying itself. I’ll give you an example of how this might work out. Let’s suppose you say in the future, journalists will figure out how to attach themselves to advertising more directly so they’re not left out of the loop. Right now, a lot of journalism is aggregated in various services that create aggregate feeds of one kind or another and those things sell advertising for the final-stop aggregator. And the people doing the real work only get a pittance. A few journalists do well but it’s very few — it’s a winner-take-all world where only a minority does well. Yes, there are a few people, for instance, who have blogs with their own ads and that can bring in some money. You can say, “Well, isn’t that a good model and shouldn’t that be emulated”? The problem is that they’re dependent on the health of the ad servers that place ads. Very few people can handle that directly. And the problem with that is the whole business of using advertising to fund communication on the Internet is inherently self-destructive, because the only stuff that can be advertised on Google or Facebook is stuff that Google hasn’t already forced to be free.
More and more, I’m seeing that games are mining good, old-fashioned human anxieties for their drama, and that’s really promising. Games, more and more, are not just about shooting and fighting, and for that reason I’m optimistic and heartened about where the medium is heading, because I think game designers are getting more interested in making games that explore what it means to be alive.
The argument about paywalls — and copyright and the value of content — is the wrong argument. It’s an argument about trying to preserve old, industrial media model in a very different technological reality.
The discussion we should be having is how better to build valuable relationships of trust with people as people, not masses, and then how to exploit that value to support the work they want us to do. We can’t force them to do what we want anymore. For now, media are voluntary.
The actual live feed of The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love,” which premiered 45 years ago this week, in 1967, as various networks around the world, coordinated by the BBC, presented the very first live satellite broadcast, Our World. Nearly 400 million people tuned in.
Information does not imply meaning, or knowledge, or – much less – wisdom. And, meanwhile, we can find meaning where we can. We’re engaging in a project of organizing knowledge, sorting it, filtering it, reviewing it. We need to remind ourselves that this project has been underway for many centuries, and it’s never going to end. It is subjective, and imperfect, and unstable.
No news is better than Fox News – in a study of current events awareness, scientists find those watching Fox news could answer fewer questions than those watching no media at all. NRP comes out on top.
A writer has the duty to be good, not lousy; true, not false; lively, not dull; accurate, not full of error. He should tend to lift people up, not lower them down.
E. B. White on the social responsibility of the writer, a worthy aspiration to remember and live up to in today’s media climate increasingly plagued by negativism, sensationalism, and journalistic laziness.