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Free Ride by Robert Levine
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Anne Wojcicki, book scanning, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Firefox, future of journalism, Googley, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, linear programming, offshore financial centre, pets.com, publish or perish, race to the bottom, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, subscription business, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks
Rather than apply regular media economics to online publications, which would involve spending more money on reporting, most technology executives push traditional publications to adapt online economics: inexpensive ads and content that costs as little as possible. Their ideas for the future of journalism include citizen journalism, nonprofit-funded reporting, and various innovations based on publicly available data. But they don’t seem to involve many journalists. Few companies have done more to promote these ideas than Google, which has used the public discussion about the future of journalism to push its own priorities. In April 2010, the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy, a group funded by the John S. and James L.
In 2009, a court dismissed a case in which the Scranton Times-Tribune sued a rival for rewriting its obituaries. 38. The Future of Journalism: Hearing Before the Communications, Technology, and the Internet Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, 111th Cong., 1st sess. (May 6, 2009) (Arianna Huffington testimony). 39. Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy, Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age (Washington, D.C.: Aspen Institute, October 2, 2009). 40. At a 2009 Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the future of journalism, Alberto Ibargüen testified that “nothing Congress can do is as important as providing universal, affordable digital access and adoption.”
In concept, it’s not unlike the music collection societies ASCAP and BMI, which pay songwriters for use of their compositions on radio and in restaurants. Technology companies that want to start businesses around Associated Press articles or content from other member companies would have an easy time arranging it, while those that don’t pay would have no excuse. At a May 2009 Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the future of journalism, Arianna Huffington mocked the idea that the Baltimore Sun could charge for content that only Sun subscribers could read. “That’s not how people are consuming news,” she said.38 This is true, of course, but mostly because the Huffington Post and other online sites use Sun stories to draw in readers.
Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age by Steven Johnson
airport security, algorithmic trading, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, future of journalism, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, Jane Jacobs, John Gruber, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, packet switching, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, pre–internet, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tim Cook: Apple, urban planning, WikiLeaks, working poor, X Prize
Not every individual bit of news information in the system has to be interesting to the entire audience, and the number of potential contributors to the system is large enough to put a potential reporter on every street corner. In a world where media are made by peers and not just papers, new kinds of journalism become possible. The future of journalism has, of course, been the subject of great debate over the past half decade or so. The simplest way to understand what has happened over that period is this: the overarching system of news is transitioning from a Legrand Star to a Baran Web, from a small set of hierarchical organizations to a distributed network of smaller and more diverse entities.
So when that time of the month rolled around, I’d organize my week around regular check-ins at College Hill to see if a shipment of Macworlds had landed on their magazine rack. This was obsessive behavior, I admit, but not entirely irrational. It was the result of a kind of imbalance—not a chemical imbalance, an information imbalance. To understand the peer-progressive take on the future of journalism, it’s essential that we travel back to my holding pattern outside the College Hill Bookstore—which continued unabated, by the way, for three years. If we’re going to have a responsible conversation about the future of news, we need to start by talking about the past. We need to be reminded of what life was like before the Web.
The organization itself is designed explicitly on peer-network principles, but it also wants to make sure the information it produces flows through as wide a net as possible. One of the reasons ProPublica can do this, of course, is that it is a nonprofit whose mission is to be influential, and not to make money. It seems to me that this is one area that has been underanalyzed in the vast, sprawling conversation about the future of journalism over the past year or so. A number of commentators have discussed the role of nonprofits in filling the hole created by the decline of print newspapers. But they have underestimated the information productivity of organizations that are incentivized to connect, not protect, their words. A single piece of information designed to flow through the entire ecosystem of news will create more value than a piece of information sealed up in a glass box.
Curation Nation by Rosenbaum, Steven
Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, future of journalism, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, means of production, PageRank, pattern recognition, postindustrial economy, pre–internet, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social web, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, Yogi Berra
In the same way, as publishers struggle to figure out curation, there will be a few leaders and lots of followers searching for the future economic model for content. THE FUTURE OF JOURNALISM Every formerly powerful editorial structure, it seems, is having a fit over loss of its centralized control: how dare people without history degrees pick what they like, or how dare those without journalism degrees share what they know! The nerve! If you are wondering why there’s so much hand-wringing over the future of journalism in a curated world and less Sturm and Drang over, for example, how Etsy is disintermediating the local arts and crafts fair, there’s a simple answer.
It has a full-time staff of 20 just to review comments—with the power to approve them and to remove objectionable ones—and the human curation of these contributions makes for frothy and mostly civil dialogue. In June 2010 alone, the site received a staggering 3.1 million comments. “Self-expression is the new entertainment,” Huffington explains. “People don’t want to just consume information, they want to participate. Recognizing that impulse is the future of journalism.” Huffington is in many ways the poster girl for curation. She curates her bloggers, choosing voices that are distinctive and unique. She curates her reporters, putting a small number of journalists to work, but making a lot of impact with them. She curates the linked stories, choosing provocative pictures and testing headlines that work and drive traffic.
“There’s no way you can supersede human editing,” she says. “We have a clear attitude. The whole thing is about editors following their passions.” Huffington, Wolff, Abrams: these are smart, serious folks. And while they’ve all got their own take on how news will evolve, they all agree on one thing: curation will be key to the future of journalism. Writers, editors, publishers, and readers all ignore it at their own peril. 4 CONSUMER CONVERSATIONS AND CURATION It’s easy to look at curation as a powerful change agent for editorial enterprises such as magazines and newspapers, and that is certainly the case. But it’s far more powerful than that.
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Brewster Kahle, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, digital Maoism, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, George Gilder, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Naomi Klein, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, oil rush, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, social graph, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Works Progress Administration, young professional
The classic example is newspapers, which people bought for the classifieds or comics—these readers translated into higher advertising revenue, which helped finance foreign desks. The days for those kinds of arrangements are numbered, as Yahoo!’s Marissa Mayer made clear at a Senate hearing on the future of journalism. Individual articles are the new “atomic unit of consumption for news,” she observed, a shift that requires a different approach to monetization: “each individual article should be self-sustaining.” Upon hearing her testimony, advertisers rejoiced the world over. Never again would they have to inadvertently fund accountability journalism to get their message out.
Doug Henwood, After the New Economy (New York: The New Press, 2003), 1. 3. Alan Greenspan, “The American Economy in a World Context,” 35th Annual Conference on Bank Structure and Competition of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago, May 16, 1999; Henwood, After the New Economy, 79 and 86. 4. Ibid., 201 and 217. 5. Tom Rosenstiel, “Five Myths About the Future of Journalism,” Washington Post, April 7, 2011. 6. Eli Pariser, The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You (New York: Penguin Press, 2011), 49. 7. Lacy, Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good, 92–93. 8. The term “digital sharecropping” was coined by Nicholas Carr. Nicholas Carr, “Sharecropping the Long Tail,” Rough Type (blog), December 19, 2006, http://www.roughtype.com/?
Quotes from an interview with the author except for this one, which is from Justin Cox, “Documenting a Bin Laden Ex-Confidante: Q&A with Filmmaker Laura Poitras,” TheHill.com, July 13, 2010, http://thehill.com/capital-living/cover-stories/108553-documenting-a-bin-laden-ex-confidante-qaa-with-filmmaker-laura-poitras#ixzz2YfhpMdXu. 2. The other person Snowden contacted was the journalist Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian, with whom Poitras collaborated. 3. That start-up is Narrative Science, a computer program that generates sports stories. Janet Paskin, “The Future of Journalism?,” Columbia Journalism Review (November/December 2010): 10. 4. John Markoff, “Armies of Expensive Lawyers, Replaced by Cheaper Software,” New York Times, March 5, 2011, A1. 5. See Janice Gross Stein’s book based on her Massey Lecture: Janice Gross Stein, The Cult of Efficiency (Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2002). 6.
Epic Win for Anonymous: How 4chan's Army Conquered the Web by Cole Stryker
4chan, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Chelsea Manning, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, crowdsourcing, Firefox, future of journalism, hive mind, informal economy, Internet Archive, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mason jar, pre–internet, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, wage slave, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks
Though Lamb recognizes the influence of 4chan, he’s quick to concede that Good Morning America–type mainstream content still pulls tremendous weight on the Internet. But those big media entities are increasingly waiting for content to percolate on the web so they can pounce on buzz-worthy content. I also asked Lamb the obligatory “future of journalism” question. While he recognizes the power of Buzzfeed’s model, he reminds me that Buzzfeed does not do any actual reportage—no interviews, no articles, nothing. They’re curators, and we’ll always need people doing the journalistic legwork, even if serious news sites trend toward a Buzzfeed-like model.
airport security, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, book scanning, Cass Sunstein, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, David Brooks, Debian, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, future of journalism, Galaxy Zoo, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, invention of the telegraph, jimmy wales, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, linked data, Netflix Prize, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, openstreetmap, P = NP, Pluto: dwarf planet, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, slashdot, social graph, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize
At one point it was turned into an editorial critical of the role that the LA Times had played in the run-up to the war. Comparisons to the Philippine-American War were inserted by some people and removed by others.17 And then, of course, there were the disgusting images repeatedly posted by vandals. Jeff Jarvis, an important voice for openness in the debate about the future of journalism, blogged that “[a] wikitorial is bound to turn into a tug-of-war” and suggested that an alternative wiki page be set up for those who disagreed with the editorial. The founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, responded that he had already done so, creating a “counterpoint” wiki on the Los Angeles Times site for those who differed from the newspaper’s view.18 “I’m not sure the LA Times wants me setting policy for their site,” wrote Wales, “but it is a wiki after all, and what was there made no sense.”19 No sense at all.
Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, future of journalism, George Akerlof, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet Archive, invention of the printing press, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Louis Daguerre, new economy, prediction markets, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, software patent, transaction costs
It allows for a much broader range of input into a story, as reporting on the Columbia disaster revealed, when hundreds from across the southwest United States turned to the Internet to retell what they had seen. And it drives readers to read across the range of accounts and "triangulate," as Winer puts it, the truth. Blogs, Winer says, are "communicating directly with our constituency, and the middle man is out of it"—with all the benefits, and costs, that might entail. Winer is optimistic about the future of journalism infected with blogs. "It's going to become an essential skill," Winer predicts, for public figures and increasingly for private figures as well. It's not clear that "journalism" is happy about this—some journalists have been told to curtail their blogging. But it is clear that we are still in transition.
What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis
23andMe, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, clean water, connected car, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, fear of failure, Firefox, future of journalism, Google Earth, Googley, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, peer-to-peer lending, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, web of trust, Y Combinator, Zipcar
So why not outsource distribution, technology, and a good share of ad sales to Google as a platform so the paper could concentrate on its real job—journalism? Roussel was following a key rule in this book: Decide what business you’re in. The next day, I issued the same challenge to his competition, the Guardian, where I work and where I wound up a series of seminars on the future of journalism. My assignment was to pose 10 questions papers should answer now. The first: Who are we? Papers must no longer think of themselves as manufacturers or distributors. Are they in the information business? That would seem obvious, but when information can be so quickly and easily commodified, it is a perilous position.
Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom by Rebecca MacKinnon
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, digital Maoism, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Firefox, future of journalism, illegal immigration, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, national security letter, online collectivism, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks
As I started following blogs written by other less famous but no less eloquent people all over the world—people who were not professional journalists but who were witnesses or parties to events that no mainstream Western news media had reported—it was clear that the Internet-driven citizen media revolution had implications not only for the future of journalism but also for geopolitics. In January 2004 I took what was supposed to have been five months’ leave from CNN’s Tokyo bureau to spend a semester at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where I made it my full-time job to learn about the new world of citizen-driven online media.
Utopias: A Brief History From Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities by Howard P. Segal
1960s counterculture, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, complexity theory, David Brooks, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, deskilling, energy security, European colonialism, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of journalism, garden city movement, germ theory of disease, Golden Gate Park, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Nicholas Carr, Nikolai Kondratiev, out of africa, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, union organizing, urban planning, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog
Anna Quindlen, “Turning the Page: The Future of Reading is Backlit and Bright,” Newsweek, 155 (April 5, 2010), 52–53. See also Susan Straight, “Books’ Power to Connect Potent as Ever,” Bangor Daily News, June 24, 2010, A7; and Julie Bosman, “Publishing Gives Hints of Revival, Data Show,” New York Times, August 9, 2011, C1, C6. David Reevely quoted in Scott Foster, “The Future of Journalism: What’s Next for News?” Carleton University Magazine, Spring 2010, 23. This is an excellent overview of the topic. See also Josh Quittner, “The Future of Reading,” Fortune, 161 (March 1, 2010), 63–67, regarding publishing’s foolish reliance on simple-minded and ignorant consultants rather than on their foremost reporters to try to grasp the ongoing changes in the industry from the mid-1990s onward.
To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov
3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Narrative Science, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks
As someone who shares many of the ends of Lessig’s agenda, I take little pleasure in criticizing his means, but I do think they are intellectually unsustainable and probably misleading to the technologically unsavvy. Internet-centrism, like all religions, might have its productive uses, but it makes for a truly awful guide to solving complex problems, be they the future of journalism or the unwanted effects of transparency. It’s time we abandon the chief tenet of Internet-centrism and stop conflating physical networks with the ideologies that run through them. We should not be presenting those ideologies as inevitable and natural products of these physical networks when we know that these ideologies are contingent and perishable and probably influenced by the deep coffers of Silicon Valley.
affirmative action, anti-communist, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Boycotts of Israel, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Snowden, energy security, energy transition, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, experimental subject, F. W. de Klerk, facts on the ground, failed state, financial innovation, Food sovereignty, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of journalism, high net worth, invisible hand, Julian Assange, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monroe Doctrine, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, éminence grise
Instead They Caused a Tragedy,” Guardian, September 16, 2009. 6“A Gag Too Far,” Index on Censorship, October 14, 2009. 7Mark Sweney, “Bank Drops Lawsuit against Wikileaks,” Guardian, March 6, 2008; “Wikileaks Given Data on Swiss Bank Accounts,” BBC News, January 17, 2011; “WikiLeaks to Target Wealthy Individuals,” Daily Telegraph, January 17, 2011. 8Yochai Benkler, “A Free Irresponsible Press: Wikileaks and the Battle over the Soul of the Networked Fourth Estate,” Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 46 (2011); Lisa Lynch, “‘We’re Going to Crack the World Open’: Wikileaks and the Future of Investigative Reporting,” Journalism Practice 4: 3 (2010)—Special Issue: The Future of Journalism. 9John Vidal, “WikiLeaks: US Targets EU over GM Crops,” Guardian, January 3, 2011. 10See Mariana Mazzucato, The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs Private Sector Myths (London/New York/Delhi: Anthem Press, 2013), Kindle loc. 2302–2320; and Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin, The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of the American Empire (London/New York: Verso, 2013), p. 288. 11https://wikileaks.org/tpp-ip2/pressrelease. 12Peter Gowan, The Global Gamble: Washington’s Faustian Bid for World Dominance (London/New York: Verso, 1999). 13Quoted in Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin, “Global Capitalism and the American Empire,” Socialist Register 40 (2004). 14Figure cited in Andrew G.