Future of journalims: Congressional hearing: Print vs. blog and citizen journalism

This week the The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation conducted a hearing of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet on the “Future of Journalism“. Invited were representatives of traditional print media (Steve Coll, Former Managing Editor The Washington Post and James Moroney, Publisher/CEO The Dallas Morning News) and new media, such as Marissa Mayer, Vice President, Search Products & User Experience Google Inc. and Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post.com.

Some snippets of the testimonies:

Huffington:

“Journalism Will Not Only Survive, It Will Thrive”

“Can anyone seriously argue that this isn’t a magnificent time for readers who can surf the net, use search engines, and go to news aggregators to access the best stories from countless sources around the world — stories that are up-to-the-minute, not rolled out once a day?  Online news also allows users to immediately comment on stories, as well as interact and form communities with other commenters.”

Ibargüen, Knights Foundation:

“For the first time in the history of the Republic, news  and information are being delivered on platforms far broader than the geographic boundaries of our democratic institutions. Until recently, the circulation area of newspaper or the reach of local television or radio signal roughly coincided with the physical boundaries of cities and countries.”

Coll, Former Editor of Washington Post

American journalism has entered a phase of what the economist Joseph Schumpeter has called “creative destruction.”

The participants made a few suggestion on what Congress could do to ensure the public interest journalists are serving. My biggested question is: should the Government bailout the newspapers, acquiring stakes in newspapers? How can this serve public interest as a democracy element, if journalists have to serve a newspaper owned by the government? Will this ensure neutral coverage and still be democratic?

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About Ines Mergel

I am Full Professor of Public Administration at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at University of Konstanz, Germany. Previously, I served as Assistant and then Associate Professor (with tenure) at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, NY. In my research, I focus on informal social networks in the public sector and the adoption and diffusion of digital service innovations in government organizations. I teach classes on social media management, digital government, public management, and social network analysis.

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