Archive | October, 2012

The Dangers Of Moving Online

21 Oct

 Geoffrey Ingersoll makes a strong case for keeping news and other information in a printed form. He breaks this down into three points. First, he says, is for national security and the free press. He makes the point that, if our only form of news is online, then something like an Internet kill switch could easily cut everyone off. Second, is because of the possibility of revisionist history. Things written online are not permanent, and can be edited or updated at any time. This leaves open the possibility for something out of George Orwell’s “1984.” Third, is the simple fact that the Internet relies on electricity. If electricity is lost, so is everything on the Internet. This might be caused by something like a solar flare. Ingersoll’s case is quite compelling. Moving everything online would be a set-up for some sort of disaster.


The Case For Printed News

21 Oct

 An article by the Associated Press makes the case for a strong market for print news, despite Newsweek’s recent move to end their print version and go online.  The article claims that the move had more to do with Newsweek’s own problems, rather than the print market, itself. It claims that revenue from printed news is actually increasing, despite what some would have us think. It makes the case that print news will find a niche, like all other forms of communication have, and won’t go away. The question of whether or not print news will go away is divided. History, however, tells us that print news, like all other forms of communication, will find its place.

An End To Print News?

21 Oct

 Andrew Sullivan has written an opinionated article about Newsweek’s recent decision to end their print version, and go exclusively online. It is Sullivan’s opinion that a move to online is inevitable. He says he’s been calling for it for 12 years, and describes his own transition from print to online news. Sullivan compares print news to horse-drawn carts in an age of cars. I’m not so certain that the transition is inevitable. No form of communication has ever been ended. If radio is still around, why would print news ever go away? Even if its role is reduced, there will be a market for print news, the same way that there will always be a market for printed books. If printed news does end, then it will at least be an interesting transition to live through.

Users Innovated Twitter

13 Oct

Steven Levy has written a very informative article about Twitter called “Mob Rule! How Users Took Over Twitter.”

 In it, he describes a good deal of the history and development of Twitter. The most interesting part is how Twitter users innovated many of Twitter’s conventions, such as hashtags and retweeting. Some of this was the intention of Twitter’s creators. They wanted to allow people to be able to make their own innovations. They are even leaving the development of cellphone apps to Twitter’s users, rather than doing it, themselves. Allowing users to upgrade and modify Twitter is a brilliant decision. Without allowing this, Twitter might not have exploded in popularity the way it has. Many other sites are copying certain aspects of Twitter, proving that it is becoming a staple. In the future, allowing users to modify sites like this might become standard, as it allows users to turn it into what they want, and puts less pressure on developers to come up with new ideas.

Twitter On The Scene

13 Oct

Brian Stelter provides an amazing example of how Twitter can be used for live reporting in his article “What I Learned In Joplin.”

 Stetler describes how he traveled to Joplin, Mussouri, following a devastating tornado, and tweeted about the scene in real-time as he was there. This might be the greatest potential use for Twitter. Due to the ability to post updates instantaneously from a phone, Twitter can be used to inform people about natural disasters as they happen. Twitter users can be on the scene, sending out information before major news networks are even aware of the disaster. This could potentially save lives. One can only imagine how things might have been different if we had had Twitter during 9/11.

Traditional Articles Getting Downgraded?

12 Oct

 Jeff Jarvis says the traditional news article is now more of a luxury in his article “The article as luxury or byproduct.” He does not claim, like some, that the traditional news article is not needed. He says that it is only needed in some cases, while new media like Twitter can handle shorter pieces. I can see where he’s going, but I don’t agree. Not everyone uses Twitter, or other online media. These people wouldn’t have access to the online reporting. Additionally, it sounds like an excuse, so reporters won’t have to spend time writing lengthy articles. Writing a short Twitter update is not the same as writing an article. Writing an article takes much more skill and intelligence. Personally, I don’t want reporters who are less-qualified giving me Twitter updates. What I want is an in-depth article.

Is Traditional Journalism Still Needed?

12 Oct

Mathew Ingram refutes the claim being made by some people that media like Twitter will be able to replace traditional journalism in his article “No, Twitter Is Not a Replacement For Journalism.”

Ingram claims that in-depth investigation, which can only be done by journalists, is still necessary. Ingram also claims that the amount of information on Twitter is too great to find specific things quickly and easily. Personally, I agree with Ingram. Prior to reading the article, I was not aware that anyone thought Twitter would render traditional reporting unnecessary. Ingram’s defense of traditional journalism is well-founded. The average Twitter user does not have the resources to investigate major stories. In addition, misinformation can spread rapidly on Twitter. Ingram’s article makes a great point.