Thursday, January 27, 2011

Addendum on the digital miscues of newspapers

A former colleague commented on my last posting about a blog post by Clay Shirky that I found enlightening. I still believe many in the industry simply failed to recognize we were on the verge of a sea change in terms of the Internet. Many journalists -- editors and reporters -- viewed the Internet as a threat -- who would want to buy newspapers if we were giving away the information online?

Yet at the same time, these journalists were delighted, sometimes amazed, at the versatility of what was becoming a technological tool as a part of their very jobs -- for address or phone number checking, for quickly getting map directions to a fire or shooting.

But Shirky adds a deeper perspective, looking inside the industry's ivory towers.

He points out that industry power brokers did see the train coming, as it were, and set up a variety of plans to address the issue. But each of these missteps failed.

Clay Shirky's perspective, posted in March 2009 and titled "Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable," is well worth reading. Thanks mdominis for adding the link to your comment on my last post.