Johnson, "Old Growth Media and the Future of News" & Starr, "Goodbye to the Age of Newspapers (Hello to a New Age of Corruption)"

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Please post your DQs below, use the following to guide your reading:

1. Why does Johnson describe the current media environment as a "ecosystem"? What do you think about his model for the future of journalism?
2. Why is "technology journalism" a useful case study, in Johnson's opinion, for understanding the future of news/journalism? Do you agree?
3. Why is Johnson optimistic about the new media news environment? What do you think about Johnson's optimism? Do you agree? Do you think he is overlooking anything important?
4. What are the 2 central limitations or problems with this new ecosystem that Johnson is concerned about? (That is, what are the complexities of questions of access and time, and why is it "going to get ugly"?)
5. How, in Starr's view, should newspapers function as a public good? What developments does he point to that interfere with this?
6. Why, for Starr, is it important to place the shifts in news media in the context of the "emerging framework of post-industrial society and politics"? What does he mean?
7. What are the developments in news (and in the business of news) that Starr calls "dire"? Why is he so concerned?
8. Starr closes with a note on the importance of newspapers for the functioning of democracy. What is his argument? Do you agree? Why/why not?

9 Comments

Starr talks about how in today's society there is a shift from print media in the form of newspaper and magazines to news organizations and other companies migrating online to go paperless. He was talking about thins more as if it were a bad thing, but with all of us tied to our iPads and phones anyway, why would this be a bad thing? What are the implications that this may have on our society? particularly in the niche markets these outlets may create. I guess I just don't see the issue with making our news and information more convenient for us to access.

Johnson talks about the foundation of media coverage and how there are thousands of bloggers who now write stories locally because the local print news is floundering. This issue that I see with this is that reliability of these stories. With further production of multiple news stories a day, how will people decide what they can trust and what is reliable? I understand that this is a question which we answer today, but in the past- some of these major newspapers like the New York times have grown reliability and reputation for being a dependable source. With all of the new technology and coverage, how will the public decipher which source is reliable?

This topic was interesting because it is quite obvious that pretty soon magazines and newspapers are going to be obsolete. Many people believe this is good and others see it as a negative (starr). I wonder how long it will take for paper forms of media to become obsolete, and what will the effects of this be both positive and/or negative?

In Johnson's article, he talks a lot about the evolution of media and consumers use of new and innovative media texts. I thought he summed it up well with the quote, "it is far more complicated to navigate this new world than it is to sit down with your morning paper." There are thousands of blogs and online media sources that are becoming more complex, and is leading to a change in readership of different media texts from the typical morning newspaper. With these different media texts, do you think here is a major difference in the types of articles that readers are interested in? Are there parts of the newspaper that might not transcend to an online text?

Paul Starr's article strongly criticizes on the dangers of paperless news. But it makes me wonder, what are some positives to having the internet as our main news source? Aren't we saving trees? Don't we have more access to a variety of news we want to read? Why should I [or anyone] pay money to read the news I can read/watch online? I'm curious about this.

3. I do agree with Johnson's optimism, but I do disagree with how he isn't fond of the transition we are in right now. I think Johnson is optimistic because he sees, as everyone else does, that this transition from print to digital isn't all bad. According to Johnson, the number suggest that, "The online audience is growing faster than their print audience is shrinking." My question is, why do people continue to see the closing of print newspapers as such a bad thing? Because of user-generated data sites? Because of social media's impact on stories? I don't get it. In my opinion, as a journalism major, just because we leave print journalism behind, doesn't mean we also have to leave behind the standards that made print journalism so great.

Based off of this article, i believe that newspapers, and magazines will be extinct in the next 20 years. The way media increases each year is amazing, and pretty soon paper copies will no longer be needed. I agree with Matt's comment as to why people are getting mad about this. Everyone in the next twenty years will have access to some sort of electronic to see whatever it is they want to research. We do need to remember where the original journalism came from though.

Starr states, "...while the new digital environment is more open to "citizen journalism" and the free expression of opinions, it is also more open to bias, and to journalism for hire. Online there are few clear markers to distinguish blogs and other sites that are being financed to promote a viewpoint from news sites operated independently on the basis of professional rules of reporting. So the danger is not just more corruption of government and business--it is also more corruption of journalism itself." I think this is basically why the loss of newspapers is "bad" to answer decon004's comment. I bet we'll talk about this more in class, but I haven't thought about this much until now. As I reflect on my own web use, I see this line constantly being blurred. Many comments are as to why this movement toward electronic information is "bad", but we need to think about who is writing and what for when we look for quick information on the internet.

In Johnson's article I found it interesting when he talked about how people wouldn't be interested in all stories printed in a city of 8 million people. How would readership of newspapers react if the stories printed were relevant to smaller sections of cities?

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This page contains a single entry by zimme313 published on April 29, 2013 10:00 AM.

Johnson, "Everything New is Old Again: Sport Television, Innovation, and Tradition for a Multi-Platform Era" was the previous entry in this blog.

Old Growth Media is the next entry in this blog.

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