This essay by Clay Shirky is the single most articulate, informed and intelligent examination of the evolutionary changes in the newspaper industry that I have yet read. It’s — actually — incredible.
Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism. For a century, the imperatives to strengthen journalism and to strengthen newspapers have been so tightly wound as to be indistinguishable. That’s been a fine accident to have, but when that accident stops, as it is stopping before our eyes, we’re going to need lots of other ways to strengthen journalism instead.
Wow! After reading this piece, anybody with a 10th grade education will understand exactly what impact the Internet has had on newspapers and that things must be done radically differently — and right now.
Except, of course, the bow ties won’t get it. They’ll fight against it, argue with it, deny it, ball it up and toss it in the trash, and fire any employees who have different ideas, fresh ways of doing things.
And the bow ties will then, quickly, fade away, just like yesterday’s news . . .