Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable

Clay Shirky, Weblog, Mar 16, 2009
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Clay Skirky's widely cited column on the death of newspapers isn't saying anything that hasn't been said before - readers of this website have patiently put up with a steady diet of such articles for almost ten years - but the timing of his article is good and his ultra-conservative conclusion ("Society doesn't need newspapers. What we need is journalism") guarantees placement in, um, newspapers. The conference I'm at, SXSW, is about the popular, the mass - and so are newspapers, and so is journalism - and that is exactly the opposite to network thinking, exactly the opposite to what we need. Society doesn't need journalism, it needs to be freed from journalism.
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