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October 22, 2008

Blogs are so 2004...

So says Paul Boutin WIRED Magazine this month. Well that's just great. Since I have chosen to use a blog for my class project I find this a little unsettling. I thought it would a good place to post my explorations about the "Future of the News" and now I found I've chosen a tool from the new tech toolbox that's passe. However: This provides a good stepping off point to look at a few questions raised by the readings, speakers, and videos.

Thinking about launching your own blog? Here's some friendly advice: Don't. And if you've already got one, pull the plug.

Writing a weblog today isn't the bright idea it was four years ago. The blogosphere, once a freshwater oasis of folksy self-expression and clever thought, has been flooded by a tsunami of paid bilge. Cut-rate journalists and underground marketing campaigns now drown out the authentic voices of amateur wordsmiths. It's almost impossible to get noticed, except by hecklers. And why bother? The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter.


Some brief comments on this:
  • I wasn't looking to post too much"folksy self-expression" and clever thought- except to ask if such writing qualifies one as a journalist...
  • I'm not accepting any "paid bilge" as that may appear that I've been influenced by advertisers and thus compromised my objectivity- if there is such a thing. And is it possible to have the news being reported side-by-side with advertisements? Or is it a problem only when its on the op-ed pages? Or on webpages in general because of space constraints?
  • I will run a moderated blog so as to avoid hecklers although a little heckling may be OK. Does that make me a gatekeeper in the traditional sense of editorial control?
  • I have a Facebook site that I considered using before I decided to try the free Moveable Type program available to every U of MN student and staff member. I am also considering Wordpress because it has more social networking tools. So maybe I'll switch. Whichever way it goes,does that mean Facebook and the others are more "Journalistic" endeavors than a blog? U.S.News and World Report on-line uses blogs side-by-side with the news reports and extensive advertising.

October 20, 2008

The Future of News as We Know It

(or, "Has Capitalism screwed up Journalism, and has Journalism given up on Democracy, and what’s a poor citizen supposed to do, and does it even matter anymore?)� This was a working title for this weblog at one point... too harsh, to flip, and too general by far, I think.

The reading materials and presentations in the class I'm taking on the "Future of News" are painting a bleak picture of the direction traditional news sources are taking in light of many factors. One of the most important underlying questions in this time of unprecedented change is how we remain informed citizens when it comes time to choose our leaders that make decisions for us all in this democracy of ours. Who do we trust for the information we need? Who's going to pay for it?