Thursday, January 28, 2010

Journalism, Media and the Future

"Public goods are notoriously under-produced in the marketplace, and news is a public good--and yet, since the mid-nineteenth century, newspapers have produced news in abundance at a cheap price to readers and without need of direct subsidy. More than any other medium, newspapers have been our eyes on the state, our check on private abuses, our civic alarm systems. It is true that they have often failed to perform those functions as well as they should have done. But whether they can continue to perform them at all is now in doubt".Goodbye to the Age of Newspapers (Hello to a New Era of Corruption)

Welcome to the future of journalism in the post-industrial world. When I studied journalism in the late 1980s it was a different world. We used typewriters!! I cut and pasted up stories on large 45 degree tables with paper, scalpel and glue. We sold papers on campus as it was a primary source of news and the only avenue for publication for us would-be hacks. Later, after graduation I made fanzines with my friends in Sydney, Australia with the early 90s being a hot bed for creativity in the zine community. Desktop publishing had made it easy to produce copy and two-tone printing was cheap. We hand colored the zine we produced ourselves. It was a work of art.

Then in 1995 the internet arrived. It was a quiet explosion that was followed by a digital media revolution. It is still going on today. Today many newspaper are struggling and citizen journalism is becoming a part of daily life. How does journalism as a profession fit into this new and exciting landscape? That is what the initiative Framtidsredaktionen comes in. The ambition is to provide a network centered on Umeå University Campus for news and media production, distribution and consumption, by students and for students. A community that will allow students to produce the best they can, gain experience, get noticed and inform each other. This is the future of journalism.

The concept of Framtidsredaktionen draws upon a number of precedents, including such news sites as:

Oh My News

Democracy Now

Second Opinion

Läsernas Fria

and such online communities as Warren Ellis are also worth acknowledging in what is possible.

This is an exciting opportunity for us here in Umeå to build a digital journalism network that has the potential to be world-class. Working with HUMlab you will be using cutting edge technology and have access to leaders in the field. We welcome you.

More Links on Journalism and the Future

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