Forging the future from the past

What’s new is often hyped or hated. But sometimes it’s not as new as it seems.

It’s fed with the future, but based on pieces of the past.

Hyperlocal journalism? Why be hyper about it?

Small community newspapers have existed probably as long as newspapers have been published. And before that, there was local oral literature, or even gossip.

Remember the “New Economy” of the late 1990s? And the Internet stock bubble afterward, and all the bubbles before?

Now as interest rates rise, people forget, or don’t know about, the much higher rates of the 1980s.

And as the news industry fissures and fuses, we often fail to see the river of time – how it follows old curves and shapes new ones, how it picks up sediment and stone from one spot and puts it in another.

Romenesko today refers to an article in Wired about Sharesleuth.

In one view, Sharesleuth is compromised investigative business reporting. Chris Carey writes some exposes. But his employer, Mark Cuban, uses that work for stock-market gains. Cuban reads the reports before they are published.

But consider some other views, if only to broaden perspective.

Directly and indirectly, people pay for investment advice. As the stock research scandal showed, that advice can be worse than tainted.

And from another angle: A few hundred years ago or so, wealthy patrons often supported musicians and visual artists. The patrons had works commissioned, but the artists’ work was also shared with others.

So, instead of considering how pure or not Sharesleuth is as journalism, readers could consider themselves the indirect beneficiaries of Cuban’s patronage of Carey’s investigative work.

Instead of the support being criticized, maybe the sharing should be complimented.

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Published in: on September 27, 2007 at 5:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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