Jay Rosen at Press think has thoughtfully pulled together a fablous collection of essays about the collapse and rebuilding of the news business. While every journalist worth their ratty desk chair has read a lot about the mistakes of online journalism past, most of these essays really explain how we got here and how we can rebuild the news business model to reflect a digital era.
The best of his recommended lot, in my opinion, is Clay Shirky’s Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable. While his isn’t one of the more uplifting essays, he explains how the news industry’s response to the Internet was (and still is) holding back innovation.
Shirky writes: “When someone demands to know how we are going to replace newspapers, they are really demanding to be told that we are not living through a revolution. They are demanding to be told that old systems won’t break before new systems are in place. They are demanding to be told that ancient social bargains aren’t in peril, that core institutions will be spared, that new methods of spreading information will improve previous practice rather than upending it. They are demanding to be lied to.”
Another of Rosen’s featured links is to Steven Berlin Johnson’s speech on Old Growth Media and the Future of News, which I wrote about a few days ago.
When you get a chance and you can handle some straight talk, read these over.