Blogging, Journalism and the Future of the Newspaper

In the reading for today I found all of them to be very interesting and interconnected and I liked that a lot. “Why I Blog” reading by Andrew Sullivan pointed out that blogging has become a platform to critique journalists. He also points out that blogging provides a discussion and debate between the blogger’s opinion and of his readers. He identifies blogging as a new form of writing because it is written thought and dialogue within a persons mind of a certain subject and because of it’s rapid publishing. From this article I gained a new knowledge of why blogging is so important to society and the people who write and read blogs.

Jay Rosen’s blog, “Audience Atomization Overcome: Why the Internet Weakens the Authority of the Press” presents the reader a diagram to understand journalism in the U.S. The diagram (from Daniel C. Hallin book “The Uncensored War”) is configured in a donut shape and the inside hole of the donut is labeled “sphere of consensus” then the middle part is “sphere of legitimate debate” and then outside the donut shape is “sphere of deviance.” Rosen goes on explaining all these spheres that usually journalists write in the “sphere of legitimate debate” yet however he says this is not always true, but however if written in another sphere it is usually considered not to be good journalism. The Internet has weakened the press by the availability for people online to find people who have similar values and interests they share information and “trade impressions and realize their number” creating a new “sphere of legitimate debate” in contrast with the “Big Media.” This is what journalists call the “echo chamber” where “bloggers tap into it to gain a following and serve demand.”

Basically what happening is the “authority of the press to assume consensus” is weakened when a new group of people define and set the terms for legitimate debate and “when people can connect horizontally around and about the news.” Rosen three word definition of understanding internet affects in politics and media is “Audience Atomization Overcome.”

Clay Shirky’s “Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable” touched on the affect of the internet on newspapers. I thought it was very interesting how he explained how the printing press revolutionized books and made literature available to masses around the world. He continues to say that the internet is revolutionary like the printing press. So one may ask why do we still have the newspaper? As he talks about in his blog how newspaper companies began brainstorming in 1990 of how they would adopt to the internet. Today the newspaper prints way less than it use to because of he cost. For example the New York Times doesn’t print everything one can subscribe to the NY Times online and get everything for a mircopayment. He also makes it clear it that “Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism.”

These readings made me think of instant media and how especially in the U.S. the internet and access to rapid information formulates our society and our demands of time differently than other parts of the world with limited internet rapid information access.

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