How will new technology change the way the media communicates information? Wednesday night's "The Future of the Future of News" panel, moderated by Brent Bambury, debated this question by examining how citizen journalism and Web 2.0 are changing how media is consumed and what this change means for professional journalists.
Andrew Keen, a Silicon Valley author, said, "Web 2.0 is a response to profound structural and cultural changes." Keen said media is the one way of providing people with reliable information about the world, and this cultural rebellion should be redirected before we are in crisis.
Leonard Brody, founder and CEO of Vancouver-based NowPublic, countered Keen saying that the cultural change signals young people not wanting to read newspapers, and those news brands unwilling to adapt will not survive. Brody emphasized that publishers need to pay attention to user-generated content.
Rahaf Harfoush, a freelance writer and blogger, said, "Our entire world is just so much more connected. People in my social network educate me." In defense of the legitimacy of blogging, Harfoush said that in the blogosphere a social contract develops between reader and blogger that accurate news will be provided.
The panel touched on a wide range of issues, including how readers now want to triangulate news on their own, the subjective nature of what people "need" to be informed about, and the new structures of power developing in the dissemination of information.
-- Emily Hanlon