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Death of Journalism, part 3

Monday, March 02, 2009 by Dave Winer.

I think I've boiled down what I've been predicting would happen for 15 years, in a single phrase.  Permalink to this paragraph

When you get it so distilled it's worth repeating. Permalink to this paragraph

Why journalism is dead 3.0: The sources got blogs. Permalink to this paragraph

Or they're using Twitter... Permalink to this paragraph

I read a piece by Karl Rove in the WSJ that said Obama is doing something Rove and the Republicos do all-too-well -- according to Rove he invented someone to disagree with. Here's how you do it: Permalink to this paragraph

1. Talk about how there are "those who say" and then say what they say. Permalink to this paragraph

2. Explain how you considered the possibility that they were right, but decided in the end, they weren't. Permalink to this paragraph

3. So you come off as entirely reasonable and they come off as the loutish pricks you always intended them to be. ;-> Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named kreme.jpgI didn't think Obama was actually doing what Rove accused him of. So I said to Rove, in a tweet: "Obama's 'straw man' has a name, it's spelled R-E-A-G-A-N." A few hours later Rove responded with a DM, saying that Obama didn't understand Reagan, or was deliberately misrepresenting him. I got the last word, reminding Rove that Obama is a politician, so -- BFD.  Permalink to this paragraph

Is this news or journalism? No, it's not either. If it's anything it's meta-news, news about news. But it's still interesting, imho. We've arrived at a place where a political spinmeister, former adviser to the President can get fact-checked by a random blogger, and get a confusing response. That seems a lot like the job that George Stephanopoulos or Bob Schieffer has. Decide for yourself if what they do is news or not. Permalink to this paragraph

A tweet I received, one among many, from a reporter who thinks I need to be reminded again that we will miss them when they're gone. It seems like the last final days of journalism in the US are going to be filled with this bile. Instead, we could be booting up the next version of journalism.  Permalink to this paragraph

Yes we will miss you when you're gone. Now what?  Permalink to this paragraph

No, we're not going to ask the government to pay your salaries. I'd like the govt to pay me a salary for what I do. I don't see you rushing to my defense. Oh please pay Dave for writing Scripting News. Everyone would like to be paid for their labor of love.  Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named skittles.gifThe reporters rush right by the readers in their pleas. Our only job is to miss or not miss them. This, imho, is the fatal bug in the old way of doing journalism, it's wrong, it never was that way. We were always active participants in news, either by creating it or being effected by it. Before they rush around us to take our money from the government, how about a conversation first, ask us what we want from journalism, what we like and don't like -- and don't assume you know the answer. (The journalists' answer is that we want sports, movie stars, bosoms, car crashes. You know that because that's most of what they give us. Maybe that's why no one is rushing to their defense. Just a thought.) Permalink to this paragraph

Dear news people -- WE ARE NOT HAPPY WITH THE JOB YOU'RE DOING.  Permalink to this paragraph

Isn't that the obvious take-away from the downward spiral of the news industry? Isn't it amazing that the last people they think to blame for their problem is themselves? (Totally understandable of course.) Permalink to this paragraph

In any case, please consider the possibility that this point of view is valid. Thanks, big hugs, Dave. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.


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