Brian Fuller's blog on the media, marketing and content creation

The crisis is here

Posted on | November 1, 2006 | No Comments

Eric Alterman, writing in The Nation, tells us what we know already in a posting recently. The mainstream media is in crisis, no doubt.

At a well-attended recent conference in honor of the twentieth anniversary of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, the gloom in the room was painfully palpable. The first presentation, offered by management consultant Scott Anthony, left the gathering gnashing its collective teeth over talk of news “consumers” rather than citizens, implicitly stripping the profession of dignity and purpose. Carnegie Corporation president Vartan Gregorian countered with an inspiring lunchtime lecture pointedly directed at the role of journalism as a “calling” rather than just a job; one that he defined as that of the “guardian of democracy” and “intermediary and an interpreter between society and knowledge.”

Gregorian later suggested that universities buy up papers in the interest of maintaining a quality public dialogue. This isn’t far from similar suggestions that old-line media be run more like NPR. It is food for thought. Two notions, however, do need be cleaved in his article: one is the business model and the second is the concept of public intelligence. In the Internet Age, these may be mutually incompatible…or not. Jury’s out.
But I do know that last night I spend a couple of hours boning up for the our election upcoming. I did it by reading the voter guide (almost 200 pages in California), the local editorial page (in both print and online) and then hitting various candidates’ websites. Along the way I found a very simple but compelling site, apparently run by the ABC affiliate in Los Angeles. It offers 5-minute video slots to any candidate for major office to tell his or her story. It’s a fine use of the technology.
Anyhow, read Alterman’s piece in full. It’s worth the five minutes.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!


Leave a Reply

  • Sunset in the Sunset

    Sunset in the Sunset
  • Recent Comments