Amway Journalism

Corey Pein, Random Walk in E-Learning, Aug 10, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I'm not even remotely a fan of Jeff Jarvis, but I think that this criticism of him is a bit unfair. Curey Pein writes, "In their long and seemingly hopeless search for answers, journalists have internalized the abusive rhetoric of the 'disruption' brigade. Jarvis tells beleaguered journalists that they themselves, the lowly content-serfs—not short-sighted newspaper proprietors, not the Wall Street backers of corporate media conglomerates, not the sociopathic unchecked tech monopolies, not hostile politicians and prosecutors—are to blame for their sudden loss of livelihood." On the one hand, it's quite true that the technological age has led to exploitation (but mind you, what age has not?). And like Pein, I "criticize Jarvis for his tiresome 'cyber hustler' persona or his shameless grave-dancing amid mass layoffs." On the other hand, old media was "a vicious and ugly beast" and needed to be replaced. And in that, at least, Jarvis (himself a prototypical product of that era) was right.

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