Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fear and the future of news

George Freeman, Vice President & Assistant General Counsel, of the New York Times says, "It's unclear to me that, online, quality matters that much." This barely a week after Bill Keller (NYT executive editor) ruminates in The Twitter Trap on soulless sociability of electronic communications.
The two points of quality and soul shouldn't be minimized. It's essential that we have a news channels that deliver high quality news in a timely fashion. It's equally essential that we as a society have ways of sharing that news, putting that news in the context of our lives and in the context of broader trends.
Each generation of elders, though, worries that the new stuff will break what's true and good. It comes down to a curious point, though. Elders (and I'm certainly among that number) are afraid that progress will make them obsolete. In the process of complaining that the young'uns are sacrificing quality of thought and relationships, we seal our fate by making ourselves increasingly irrelevant.
We built a world that valued and promoted progress and then recoil when we see that it might put us out of business.
Rather than cheering on our children and grandchildren, we leave them with a legacy of fear. The future that we created for you is a dangerous place full of stupid people who want to steal your money, ideas, and souls.
And, they don't even thank us for it.

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