Today's Internet Is Not Killing Our Culture


Occasional Adrants contributor Jennifer A. Jones, VP PR & Social Media Strategy for Fletcher Martin and author of Speak Media Blog, has reviewed Andrew Keen's new book The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing Our Culture and she doesn't like it.In both video and in written form, Jones takes Keen to task over his beliefs that bloggers have had no impact on journalism and don't add any value. Arguing against Keen's assertion, Jones asks us to note it was bloggers who first covered the LonelyGirl story, bloggers who outed Sony's fake PSP blog, broke the Alberto Gonzales scandal and the whole Rathergate thing.

Taking Keen to task over his distaste for some bloggers who prefer to remain anonymous, Jones reminds us about Jeff Gannon who pretended to be a White correspondent when he was actually working for the GOP, David Manning who was a fake movie critic created by studios to get positive reviews and FEMA's fake press conference. Jones' point is that credibility doesn't come from title, it comes from the content of the work.

When Keen cites the "cost of democratization" brought on by the internet, social media and the disappearing cost threshold of producing content which has harmed many media institutions, Jones agrees but notes, basically, that things change and organizations need to adapt to change just as wagon wheel makers did with the advent of the automobile or, humorously, the notion undertakers took a hit because of the invention of penicillin. She also notes the Chicago Tribune's successful use of social media to maintain and grow its business.

As always, change happens. Those who adapt survive. Those who don't...well, don't. The notion social media and the internet are killing our culture is just absurd and ludicrous. Do we rally want to go back to the day when Walter Cronkite ruled the airwaves? No disrespect to the icon of television news reporting but why rely on one source when you can rely on millions and decide for yourself which ones to trust?

by Steve Hall    Sep-11-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Opinion, Social   

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Anyone who thinks bloggers have no impact on journalism are delusional. I have watched numerous stories unfold on blogs long before any "real" journalist has a clue what's going on. Newsrooms across the country are being decimated, and many of those writers are now doing their jobs as bloggers. The key is knowing which ones to trust.

Posted by: Cynthia on September 11, 2008 2:36 PM

Remind me -- what has the ChiTrib done to grow its business?

I thought the various Tribune company properties are slowly (or not) going out of business, with Zell trying as quickly as he can to find a sucker who will take them off his hands before they collapse.

I doubt bloggers in particular, the Internet more generally, will do anything to save the company.

Posted by: Auto on September 15, 2008 10:02 AM