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‘Old Growth Media and the Future of News’

Steven Berlin Johnson on the future of news publishing:

The first wave of blogs were tech-focused, and then for whatever reason, they turned to politics next. And so Web 2.0-style political coverage has had a decade to mature into its current state. What’s happened with technology and politics is happening elsewhere too, just on a different timetable. Sports, business, reviews of movies, books, restaurants – all the staples of the old newspaper format are proliferating online. There are more perspectives; there is more depth and more surface now. And that’s the new growth. It’s only started maturing.

In fact, I think in the long run, we’re going to look back at many facets of old media and realize that we were living in a desert disguised as a rain forest.

He starts the piece by recalling just how hard it was to come by Mac and Apple-related news when he was in college in 1987 — you were pretty much stuck waiting for two-month-old news from Macworld once a month. Imagine not hearing any real details about this past week’s iPhone OS 3.0 announcement until, say, the third week of May.

Johnson’s piece pairs well with the aforelinked piece from Clay Shirky.

Friday, 20 March 2009