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JUNE 17, 2009 3:50AM

Future of journalism links

Rate: 7 Flag

By King Kaufman: A few things read, seen and heard in the last day or so.

Beatblogging's Patrick Thornton on how professional journalists can create value when everybody's a journalist. With examples from the Iran story.

DigiDave, aka Dave Cohn, founder of Spot.us, on whether journalism school is worthwhile. He went, as did I. His conclusion is similar to mine: Maybe. Cohn says you don't need to, and that he learned more on the job than at school, but going to school was a great experience that introduced him to people and situations that were hugely influential. Same here. He also warns that J-school programs are in flux as they try to figure out how to deal with the changing landscape.

Follow-up to that item about Clay Shirky's TED Talk: A Q&A with Shirky about Twitter and Iran on Ted.com. "This is it," Shirky says. "The big one. This is the first revolution that has been catapulted onto a global stage and transformed by social media. I've been thinking a lot about the Chicago demonstrations of 1968 where they chanted 'the whole world is watching.' Really, that wasn't true then. But this time it's true."

Vanak Square, Tehran, June 16, 2009. Flickr/Hamed Saber 

 Shirky wasn't the only one giving prescient talks in the last month. Here's Howard Rheingold revisiting "smartmobs" two weeks ago.

Digiphile's Alex Howard writes about CNN's Rick Sanchez talking about #CNNfail at the 140 Characters Conference in New York. Here's Sanchez defending CNN's coverage on the air Monday.

Howard also mentions NBC's Ann Curry pointing out that it's hard to get Americans interested in international news, which anyone in this business can attest to. So what does the seemingly endless hunger for news from Iran this week mean?

Dave Winer says that Twitter needs competition. And also: Twitter. Needs. Competition.

NNPA -- the Black Press of America -- columnist and TransAfrica Forum executive director Nicole C. Lee, writing about the death of the newspaper: "As an African American who works on foreign policy as it relates to the African Diaspora, I am not sure what I lose when major newspapers fail." And: "If the newspaper industry in this country wants the American people to fight for their survival then they must do a better job representing the larger community."

On Daily Kos, bhurt points out that the run-up to the Iraq War was hardly a sudden, surprising failure by a newsmedia that had, over decades, "lost my trust."

Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli tells readers, "The line between news and opinion indeed has been blurring, although we continue to believe in that fundamental separation."

Photo: Vanak Square, Tehran, June 16, 2009. (Flickr/Hamed Saber


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Going to school (as in college) is worthwhile. Journalism school? I dunno. Most of the journalists and most of the fine journalists I know didn't. You're an exception, and maybe in the states it's tougher to get a news gig without it. I strongly doubt that journalism school can keep up with all the developments in the field, and it seems that any graduate relying on the curriculum would emerge with a somewhat fossilized view of the profession and its realities.
The Thornton piece suggests journalists act as curators for user generated media. I think this is a great metaphor -- much better than "engaging in a conversation". I hope it sticks.