The Information Age offers much to mankind, and I would like to think that we will rise to the challenges it presents. But it is vital to remember that information — in the sense of raw data — is not knowledge, that knowledge is not wisdom, and that wisdom is not foresight. But information is the first essential step to all of these.
— Sir Arthur C Clarke, interview with Nalaka Gunawardene, posted at OneWorld, 5 December 2003
As the old media slowly fade into irrelevance, with their dying business models and narrow range “news” (only that which fits the acceptable “narratives”), new media fill the empty niche they leave. Look at these new additions of the FM blogroll. They deserve your attention. They certainly should be on your Twitter feeds.
- The New Inquiry
- Bureau of Investigative Journalism
- NSFWCORP – the future of journalism
- Jacobin – a magazine of culture and politics
- ProPublica – journalism in the public interest
- The Baffler – the journal that blunts the cutting edge
For More Information
Posts about the old media are listed at the FM Reference Page Information & Disinformation.
Posts about the new media:
- A new news media emerges for our new world, unseen and unexpected, 9 July 2009
- Must the old media die for the new media to flourish?, 29 October 2009
“Dawn” by Freelancah
7 thoughts on “Are you reading the new journalism, or do you still wear the blinders of the old?”
One issue is how is local news to be covered?
BTW: I live near Steubenville, OH, which recently experienced a scandal when local football stars raped a high school girl. You would have thought those football stars were bankers; they nearly got away with it. One aspect was the lack of local media coverage. But then some blogs and anonymous took over.
The local media is essentially a monopoly. While that can lead to contrived local politics, probably the real cost is that, intellectually, the area is locked in a time warp – where the topics of interest are those which prevailed in, say, 1985.
Let’s say I or someone wanted to advance John Robb’s resilient community concept locally. (I don’t, for complex reasons, but, who knows, maybe I’ll find something to it someday. ) It’s not as if the powers that be are hostile to the concept – it’s just that it’s beyond their comprehension.
( Actually – and I live in a former rustbelt community – I was sitting at a dinner several weeks ago at a table with various community leaders. They were musing about how they might be able to attract various factories – as if factories are going anywhere but China, Vietnam, etc. nowadays. Finally I had to state that 3D printing is the future of manufacturing. Oh! They replied. We’ve heard something of that. Could you fill us in?
You can and should take issue with me about Robb, outsourcing, the rustbelt, Steubenville football, 3D printing or any number of other topics. That is part of robust discussion. The point is that we’re not having any such discussion locally – and I don’t see it happening anytime soon.
Duncan raises an important aspect of our broken OODA loop: local news sources today range from almost non-existent to totally in the pocket of the local ruling elite.
Amateur non-profits can provide new coverage, but building something to provide news dissemination — let alone investigative journalism — seems almost impossible. Who will take the burden of fighting the powerful, for free? In an America of concentrated wealth and income, who else can pay?
The only solution I see is a political one, volunteer journalists in service if larger goals.
This is the model of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which has allowed them to thrive despite government oppression. They provide an integrated set of public services, self-supporting and providing sufficient power to survive.
Let me cite myself as an example.
In a distant galaxy, far away, I actually was a cub newspaper reporter. So after a few weeks of limbering up and getting my mojo back, I could actually cover the county commissioners, etc., and post it on some sort of blog.
All of which would bore me to tears. I really would rather dig a garden and grow cabbage.
Besides which, no one would follow me.
Duncan didn’t tell the end of the story, which proves far more sinister, and tells us the real story of the “new journalism” today.
Source: Wikipedia article on Steubenville High School Rape Case.
The alleged perpetrators of the assault deleted all video from their phones and from the servers to which they had uploaded the footage for the ejoyment of their buddies and refused to cooperate with police. Without evidence, the case was on the verge on being dropped when a hacker was able to pull the deleted data files (which are never really deleted) off the remote servers and provide copies to police.
What happened next proves instructive.
The hacker who made the videos of the sexual assault available to police was charged with the federal felony of tampering with a computer system and now faces more time in prison than the convicted high school rapists.
Source: “Hacker Faces More Jail Time Than The Convicted Steubenville Rapists He Exposed,” techcrunch.com, 19 June 2013.
The message for the New America could not be clearer. Reveal the crimes of powerful well-connected people, and you will face far more prison time than they do.
In the New America, any atrocity committed by the wealthy and well-connected is legal; the full fury of the American criminal justice system is reserved for those who reveal such crimes to the public. As the Julian Assange poster puts it, TRUTH IS TREASON IN THE EMPIRE OF LIES.
More points to one of many many examples of a defining aspect of New America: high, middle, and low justice. No longer equal justice for all, but separate justice for he rich, middle class, and underclass.
Drug use at Harvard is just fine. Routine drug busts in ghettos maintain the routine oppression that keeps the machine humming.
Senior White House, DoD, and Congressional officials leak as useful for their careers without concern. Peons in the machinery face an ever-growing machinery designed to see that they know their place.
Post your own examples on Twitter under #NewAmerica.
Failing to spell-check your headline doesn’t lend much credence to your argument.
WordPress does not have spell-check for titles. Since it is free, we cannot complain.
As we slide into a dark future, I suspect worrying about spelling of titles in the warning signs on the road will not be the highest priority. “Dangrous cliff ahead” — Ha ha ha oh my god helppppppppp….
However, after all that, thanks for catching this.