Media Matters

Over the course of the last couple days I’ve come across some thought-provoking stuff online and at the theatre that I think proves the point that the media matters, perhaps more than ever, as does our use of media in all the evolving forms and formats available today.

I read an intriguing article in the online version of the Columbia Journalism Review titled “Overload: Journalism’s Battle for Relevance in an Age of Too Much Information.” Included below is a brief excerpt from it and it can be read in its entirety at www.cjr.org.

The article neatly summarizes: “The future of news depends on the willingness of journalistic organizations to adjust to the new ecology and new economy of information in the digital age. ‘I think in some ways, we need a better metaphor,’ says Michael Delli Carpini, dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

‘The gatekeeping metaphor worked pretty well in the twentieth century, but maybe what news organizations should be now is not gatekeepers so much as guides. You don’t want gatekeepers that can say you can get this and you can’t get that. You want people who can guide you through all this stuff,’” suggests Delli Carpini.

Speaking of curators of culture, I saw a compelling movie this weekend called State of Play that juxtaposed the emerging influence of the blogosphere against the fading power of the mainstream media. Russell Crowe plays a veteran old-school journalist and Rachel McAdams plays a new-media blogger, and watching them cooperate to cover a breaking story is interesting and instructive.