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March 15, 2009 in Ideas, Journalism, problems | 2 comments
Clay Shirky in Newsxpapers and Thinking the Unthinkable: …what real revolutions are like. The old stuff gets broken faster than the new stuff is put in its place. Great essay. Required re-reading.
Terry Green on March 16, 2009 at 12:52 am
Clay asserts his belief that the “NPR” model (by which I assume he means public radio generally) is working. I wish I was as sanguine about that. I can see possible ways public radio can transform itself as circumstances demand, while keeping its core purposes and values intact. But it’s not as if the political and economic underpinnings of public radio as it is now will all gracefully adapt to the revolutions now underway.
Then again, the fact that my station is in the middle of a pledge drive right now probably has some bearing on my frame of mind about such things…
Doc Searls on March 16, 2009 at 7:57 am
What Clay says is, “The list of models that are obviously working today, like Consumer Reports and NPR, like ProPublica and WikiLeaks, can’t be expanded to cover any general case, but then nothing is going to cover the general case.” I believe what he means is that those four examples are surviving on voluntary contributions (subscriptions, pledges, donations, etc.).
That’s fine as far as it goes, but you’re right: It does ignore the difficult time that all journalistic institutions have in a world where the Internet is disintermediating all media.
My hope is that the Net, and ever-improving tools, will knit better and more financially rewarding relationships between all parties involved in public radio. And that’s one of the things we’re working on with ProjectVRM. But the proof will be in the pudding, and we don’t have that yet.
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