Friday, April 10, 2009

Somebody Moved the Media's Cheese, and They're, Well, Cheesed

More fodder:

The Atlantic reports today on a poll of "prominent members of the national news media," in which 65 percent said they velieve journalism has been hurt more, rather than helped, as readers and viewers seek more of their news form the Internet. You can read the entire story here.

A few interesting excerpts:

[The Internet] has blurred the line between opinion and fact and created a dynamic in which extreme thought flourishes while balanced judgment is imperiled.

Excuse me? Since when has our media (whether it leans to the left, leans to the right or sags in the middle) been a bastion of balanced judgment, or helped define the line between opinion and fact?

The Internet trains readers to consume news in ever-smaller bites. This is a disaster for newspapers and magazines.

Huh. This must explain why, in the past few months, I've read ginormous stories on the financial collapse of Iceland, gobs about the media's relations with the Internet, debates over gay marriage and all sorts of other things that, in the past, I have skipped over OR NOT BEEN ABLE TO FIND in my local paper or any of the handier magazines.

A few of these insiders understand a bit more than the others, however, that the Internet, like the advent of the printing press (again, you've got to read Clay Shirky's essay, linked in a previous post) is a revolution for good:

I think the shift to the Web has helped the practice of journalism It's subjected journalists to more real-time scrutiny and opened the profession to talented people not affiliated with major media organizations.

Yes, there's a democracy growing out there. Sure, as one insider is quoted as saying by the Atlantic, "there's sludge. And I can feel overwhelmed by quantity -- but the range and quality of twhat's at my fingertips every morning is astonishing."

My wife brought up a salient point to me tonight, which ties in with Spencer Johnson's book Who Moved My Cheese? The majority of these media insiders need to remember what Johnson says about monitoring change: "Smell the cheese often so you know when it is getting old."

Indeed, insiders, your cheese is getting old.

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