Sunday, February 1, 2009

Information Revolution

The following video is found on I want my rocky.com. This web site is dedicated to preserving the Rocky Mountain News, a paper that's been a Denver staple for 150 years and is on the verge of collapse.



The speed of information flow has increased in such an exponential fashion over the past three decades that I do not know what to tell people who make their living pressing ink to paper. It comes down to the ink and paper infrastructure rapidly going extinct. Like the fossil fuel infrastructure this arcane system will go the way of the dodo eventually. This does not mean the end of journalism however. With droves of citizen reporters we are entering an age of unprecedented interconnectedness. In the process we are tearing down the fiscal walls that were so long maintained by the information gatekeepers. The fear is that the quality of reporting will plummet without full time people devoted to investigating newsworthy stories. This is understandable, but this shift to people-powered media is the final verdict on over 50 years of media giants squandering their massive public exposure on cheap advertising and dumbed-down content. Along with print journalism, broadcast journalists are also facing the selective bottleneck of transition. But from the ashes of the fallen newspapers a gleaning meritocracy may rise, where credit will be given only where it is due and consciousness is raised at the speed of light.

As we collectively move beyond the age of corporate media may we heed the words of Edward R. Murrow and prevent a relapse of his already fulfilled prophecy told 51 years ago.



P.S. As a consequence of writing this piece I happened to stumble on this clip of young Marlon Brando playing the conga drums during and interview with Edward R. Murrow. No wonder McCarthy called these guys commies. More power to 'em.

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