Monday, February 09, 2009

Dr. Cherian George, on "The future of journalism in a post-newspaper world"

Singaporean academic, journalist, entrepreneurial educator and Thinker, writes an essay on the "Future of Journalism in a post-newspaper world":
This essay is an attempt to explore what may lie over the horizon for journalism...

Much of what has been written about the future of journalism has come from industry insiders, who tend to focus on the health of news organisations as businesses. This discussion leaves most citizens unmoved. After all, who cares about this quaint, centuries-old ink-on-newsprint product that is already becoming less and less important a part of people's lives.

But this reaction misses the point. While some, this writer included, consider good newspapers to be a key ingredient of a high quality of life, they are ultimately important not because of the reading experience they provide.

They are important because they have always been the main institutional form supporting the work of large teams of professional journalists.

You may not miss ink-on-newsprint much, but you may miss the service of professional journalists much more.

The crisis is not that newspapers are sinking, but that we have not yet built a life raft for the journalism profession.
It's worth the read. I'd love to be in Dr. George's class. His essay is making me re-think and re-look at the role of newspapers.

The full essay, here.


  1. Wouldn't it be nice if his lecture is available on YouTube? Some Ivy League universities have got their star professors' classes on YouTube. Of course, you still can't talk to the professor on the spot and have a lively discussion with the classmates, but for a "free" lesson, that's as good as it gets.

  2. Yeah, I'd think so too. Though it raises all sorts of interesting questions like intellectual property, whether the videos will encourage or actually discourage future attendance. Also, I wonder how much post-production work is needed before uploading the video. I'm not sure if you can simply record a person talking for 1hr straight and posting it direct without any edits. The editing here being, different camera angles or shots of what's being projected. I think some editing is needed to make the video a bit more interesting.

  3. On your point about discouraging future attendance - I don't think so. I think it's quite different to be able to sit in the lecture physically, ask questions and discuss with your classmates and the professor.

    BTW, just came across this article on a similar topic about future of newspaper from a local journalist, for your reading:

  4. On a related note, QQ, here's an article from The Wired Campus about YouTube's free downloads of US college lectures: "YouTube began testing a new feature that lets users download videos posted to the site from partner institutions — including colleges — rather than just watching the videos in a streaming format. That means people can grab lectures from Duke and Stanford Universities and several institutions in the University of California system to watch any time, with or without an Internet connection."


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