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How will we get our news?

Monday, March 02, 2009 by Dave Winer.

It looks like journalism is dying. Permalink to this paragraph

On Twitter, there are a lot of people arguing, and I wonder why.  Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named obama.jpgMuch of the arguing goes like this: We need journalism. How will we do X, Y and Z if there's no journalism? The assumption seems to be that if I, Dave Winer, can't answer that question, then journalism is saved. The papers that are on the brink somehow just need me to be proven incapable of doing what they do, and that's it, crisis averted. It's ridiculously illogical. It makes absolutely no sense. Yet that is what comes back every damned time I approach subject which is -- How are we going to get our news after the newspapers go away? Permalink to this paragraph

It's a serious question. Permalink to this paragraph

Not an intellectual exercise.  Permalink to this paragraph

There's nothing really to argue about, is there? If so, I'm missing it. Permalink to this paragraph

Dispassionately, please... Permalink to this paragraph

1. The Rocky Mountain News, one of two papers in Denver, went under last week.  Permalink to this paragraph

2. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, one of two papers in Seattle, is on the edge. Permalink to this paragraph

3. The San Francisco Chronicle, the only remaining paper in SF is on the edge. Permalink to this paragraph

4. At least seven other papers are in the same place. Permalink to this paragraph

5. The NY Times was just bailed out by a shady billionaire from Mexico.  Permalink to this paragraph

6. If you're thinking the government will bail out the papers, think about what we'd be left with. We'd have to come up with something else. Permalink to this paragraph

So -- under what scenario do we have newspapers in, say, a year? I don't see one.  Permalink to this paragraph

How will we get our news? -- It's not an idle question to be debated after dinner with cigars. It's a critical question. Permalink to this paragraph

At some point we will have to have this discussion. Imho, the sooner the better. 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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Last update: 3/2/2009; 8:14:39 PM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

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