Wednesday, December 2, 2009...7:47 pm

"Dinosaur rages against approaching asteroid"

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I loved this comment on Tim Luckhurst’s recent journalism-is-so-up-itself-it-believes-it’s-the-cornerstone-of-democracy opinion piece on the Guardian web site.

“Dinosaur rages against approaching asteroid. Blog at 11.”

There’s almost nothing else to say.
But what the hell.
One problem with the Luckhurst analysis is that he recognises the economic drivers that created the modern newspaper, but then tries to sidestep the economic drivers that are essentially making it obsolete.

After stamp duty on newspapers was abolished in 1855, allowing the price of a daily title to drop from 5d to 1d, new investment and technology produced a blitz of paper.

Er, yes.
And after Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web (broadly), new investment and technology produced a blitz of web content. That was free to produce and consume. Which completely undermines the old printed media economics.
But what really made me roll my eyes was the common complaint of “professional” journalists that:

Journalism is not free and that no good has come of the nigh universal pretence that it should be.

So – the near universal availability in the west of nearly free publishing tools that allow almost unfettered access to a potentially global readership is a bad thing. And undermines democracy.
I don’t think so. As I’ve wittered about endlessly, gaining free access to publishing tools is inherently much more democratic than having access to what a professional cadre of journalists choose to inform us about.
For a longer, and far more convincing, argument on these lines, check out this excellent piece from the Huffington Post yesterday on the desperation of journalism.
[HT: Karl Schneider]


  • Well said. For all the dust it’s currently kicking up, the dinosaur is facing extinction for sure. Hundreds of journalists seem to be laid off each week whilst news of half a dozen new junior subbing vacancies every now and again merely numb a few of the painful symptoms.
    It’s a real state of flux right now and adaptation is essential. And it may even transpire that “professional” journalism will disappear as no workable paying model remains.
    Thanks for the post.

  • (… or even “numbs” … where are those subs when you need them … ?)

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