De-eliting journalism


Posted on: April 3, 2019

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There is a divide between the elites and the people, it's why the news orgs are constantly writing about how huge social networks are hurting journalism, but say nothing about how they hurt blogging. In their minds blogging was some kind of ridiculous idea that ordinary people could write about what they see.

My mother would have told me it's because they're scared of you. I believe she was right about that. But it's a shame because if you want to crack the journalism puzzle (not the membership puzzle a former colleague talks about), we're going to have to de-elite journalism. It's going to be democratic. Written by you and me. It will be a civic thing, like voting or jury duty.

Facebook could have been a home for this, if they had embraced blogging, but they didn't. They removed important features from the web like linking, simple styles, titles and enclosures for podcasting. Technically these are minor projects for a company with the engineering resources of Facebook. Like the journalists they were too arrogant to think there was value in what their users were writing. They just wanted to be the envelope within which we all lead our civic lives. But they didn't really believe in it.

This is the big picture for journalism in 2019, imho.

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