Get beyond black and white (Please can we finally)

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Just when you thought we were past the “Us vs. Them” paradigm, here comes the Columbia Journalism Review‘s Alissa Quart to divide us once again, with Lost Media, Found Media Snapshots from the future of writing. Rather than “Bloggers vs. Journalists” she’s called the two camps “Lost Media” and “Found Media,” but the stereotypes and handwringing are the same old same old.

I find it ironic that someone not yet 40 (by her own account) incessantly complains that all the “Found Media” types are so unacceptably young. I’m nearly 10 years older than Alissa and best bloggers I know are older than I am. That highlights the more disturbing irony: in an article that claims that “bloggers merely recycle the small scraps of original reporting from Lost Media, creating a landscape of ‘derivative information,'” most of Alyssa’s wrongheaded (in my opinion) conclusions will sound awfully recycled to those of us who’ve moved on to what I’m coming to think of as the post-war (and also anti-war) era of new and old media. At least CJR allows comments, all of which to date have taken issue with many of these same points.

Not to self-promote, but to end on a more positive note: for a less binary, more interesting discussion check out the audio of a terrific panel (Geneva Overholser, Cynthia Gorney, David Talbot, Rose Aguilar – all amazing, no idea why they let me in) I was lucky enough to join at the Innovations in Journalism Expo 2008 organized by the Northern California branch Society for Professional Journalists and many other fine institutions. Thanks to the tireless Bill Densmore for recording and posting the audio.

Note on the graphic: I saw someone yesterday on the Red Line (for non-Bostonians, that’s the subway that goes to both MIT and Harvard) wearing this T-shirt. You can order your own from ThinkGeek.

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