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A brief theory on how the Fourth Estate is using me

I was reading an interesting article by Clay Shirky about how journalism will evolve with the death of newspapers. Apparently Shirky is a well known internet expert and it probably makes a great deal of sense to those that either follow him or know something about the internet.

Shirky’s conclusion is that there will be a new form of journalism replacing the news on printed page once everyone gets their head around the fact that the newspaper industries are no longer a viable model. The journalists and the delivery of news will be funded differently, through sponsorship, grants, or endowments and eventually a new form of journalism will emerge.

Unfortunately as it is for me with most technological hypotheses, they are over my head. It might be an age thing or possibly I just don’t give a shit until it happens. In any case I will probably be dead before then.

What I do pay attention to right now are the news web sites from the publishers and broadcasters. As a part time blogger I scan about 1,100 headlines a day from 66 subscriptions, reading or scanning through about 50 articles. Then sometimes with wit, humor, concern or as Red Tory once wrote in a post about the Blogging Right, five minutes of hate I parse the news article and place some partisan or personal spin on the story.

There is not much journalism going on around here. Just hopefully enlightening or entertaining, cut and paste, pass it on, plagiarism.

However I’m starting believe that is what the media writers want us to do, at least some of them.

Here’s an example from this afternoon.

This CBC article about Capital Punishment in Canada starts with a brief history of our laws regarding capital punishment, then quickly ends with the recent supreme court ruling (a news item from two weeks ago) that Harper and crew must try to repatriate Ronald Allen Smith who is sitting on death row in Texas. No big conclusion or call to action or condemnation of Harper, just facts.

Although the article never makes a point, the sole purpose of the CBC article seems to be to remind us that hey Harper hasn’t done anything about this yet, but unfortunately the readers are left to interpret this on their own, reading between the lines. Maybe that is all the new media writers can do in the world of corporately owned media, just list the facts.

However it just might be the optimist in me or possibly some throw back to the days when I believed that the Velvet Underground were talking to me personally, but I would like to think that the CBC, Globe or even Post writers sometimes want us to rip off their lines and make the point that they can no longer make in the main stream media. It is either that or they are just stenographers.

Anyway, JUST ANOTHER WILLY LOMAN is now a year old. JAWL did not get much traffic during the first couple of months. it was that technological thing. I couldn’t figure out how to work the feeds, but after that people starting showing up every now and then.

So a big thank you to the news writers, a happy anniversary to me and bigger thank you to you for dropping by.



sassy said…
Yes, a Very Happy Anniversary to you and hopefully many more ;)

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