There’s always stacks of comment on blogs like this one re how the media is changing and traditional journalism is on the way out. I don’t always agree but anyhow you don’t need a reheat of that debate.
Every now and then there’s interesting developments that are worth noting. I love Andrew Marr. Great series on the History of Modern Britain and anyone that wants a great analysis of the media should read his book, My Trade.
He gives an interview in the Independent about journalism in the noughties and raises some interesting points:
“In the end, does it really matter if newspapers physically disappear? Probably not: the world is always changing. But does it matter if organisations independent enough and rich enough to employ journalists to do their job disappear? Yes, that matters hugely; it affects the whole of life and society.”
“The business of funding digging journalists is important to encourage. It cannot be replaced by bloggers who don’t have access to politicians, who don’t have easy access to official documents, who aren’t able to buttonhole people in power,” he says. “I’m a great believer in the direct quote in quotation marks and the hard fact. In the blogging world there is a vast, swirling typhoon of comment, grandly called analysis. A reporting journalist is someone who is paid to spend lots of time asking questions, reading, going back again. Anyone can produce words but you need a system which pays journalists to spend time to find stuff out.”
“We’ve had huge numbers of stories about the extent to which Gordon Brown is depressed, gloomy, not sleeping. We have had lots of analysis of David Cameron’s media strategy and style, all of which is interesting and important up to a point – but I worry how much is being slipped through in terms of policy changes.”
Policy stories are “a bit tougher, a bit drier and duller”, admits Marr. “Yet, they shape everything around us: the speed we are driving, what we are driving and how many emissions we are putting in. Politics ruins a lot of lives, and it makes a lot of lives much better. We need to keep fighting for and defending the space to allow proper discussions of all of that.”
Something that might cheer Andrew up! Former TV and film director, Robert Greenwald, has set up a site that produces short videos, within the 24 hour news-cycle, that raise attention to a liberal issue, largely to counter the Fox News agenda. They are well made with sound production values and tend to attract huge numbers via YouTube.
Old media adapting to the new habits by modifying the product as opposed to broadcasting the same product via new channels. Here is their work.