Findings: to whom to pass the torch

From Hal Crowther at the Independent Weekly, via Philip Meyer:

“But the key point of understanding is that while the newspaper is expendable, the tradition it represents and the information it supplies are not. The evolution from Gutenberg to Gates may be irreversible, but as new media replace old ones there’s no official passing of the torch of responsibility, no automatic transfer of the sacred trust the First Amendment placed upon the free press and its proprietors. In fact the handoff, such as it is, has been fumbled very badly. As newspapers are eviscerated, marginalized and abandoned, they leave a vacuum that nothing and no one is prepared to fill—a crisis on its way to becoming a tragedy. When railroads and riverboats began to go the way of the passenger pigeon, no one was harmed except the workforce and a few big investors who had failed to diversify. If professional journalism vanishes along with the newspapers, this thing we call a constitutional democracy becomes a banana republic.”

Read/Write Web gives an example of who could inherit the torch. Josh Catone writes that stories by the Fake Steve Jobs were spread through a number of blogs as if they were real.

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Published in: on October 26, 2007 at 8:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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