Friday, December 19, 2008

News and Information as Digital Media comes of age

The Berkman Centre for Internet and Society at Harvard University has published a series of papers, blogs, discussions, videos etc. around the theme of Media Re:Public: News and Information as Digital Media Comes of Age.

There are papers on international news, new media literacy, public broadcasting, digital media and democracy, mainstream news and the networked public sphere, as well as a series of case studies on the site. The underlying premises of Media Re:Public are:
• Public participation in the media, enabled by the Internet, is a burgeoning and evolving phenomenon that has both positive and negative effects.
• Dramatic changes in the traditional news media are occurring in parallel to the rise in participation, primarily due to the disruption of their business models by new distribution systems.
• Simple dichotomies—new vs. old, mainstream media vs. blogosphere—do not accurately describe the current environment, with its complex interdependencies among media entities with different structures and motivations. The distinctions between professional and amateur are blurring, and the definitions of commercial, public, and community media are shifting.
From the Overview paper, authored by Persephone Miel and Robert Faris, some key points are:
  1. Under pressure from falling revenues and the disruption of their business model, traditional media outlets are reducing and shifting the scope of their original reporting.
  2. Web-native media entities are not addressing all of the crucial reporting gaps left by traditional media. Current structures and mechanisms do not provide sufficient incentives for them to do so.
  3. In the changing media environment, news consumers risk relying on news sources that are neither credible nor comprehensive.
  4. Participation in the online media space is not evenly distributed; some populations and ideas remain underrepresented.
  5. There are elements of critically important journalism that have not yet found reliable sustainability models in the online media environment.
  6. Efforts to understand and address these issues are limited by a lack of solid empirical evidence, and must rely instead on incomplete information, anecdotes, and intuition.
For more read here.

2 comments:

joshua said...

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sharon

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Sheralle said...

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Deborah

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