Week Four. Regeneration of news

Praiser presents the interesting idea that media has now become focused around the user/producers, not the sole producers.  I find this idea very interesting in response to previous historical trends, and in conversation with Shirky.  Praiser speaks to the growing trends of media nearing no cost.  The production of news is nearly free, and easily produced by those not considered “journalists.”  The phenomenon of Facebook and Twitter show the priorities of our current society.  We are a society seeking news to meet our individuals needs, precisely Praiser’s implications in his second chapter.  Society seeks to be informed, but the original source of that information is changing, perhaps not for the better.

“The power to shape news rest in the hands of bits of code, not professional  human editors.”  Here in lies the truth of our society.  As a culture we get our news from websites, individual producers, blogs, Facebook, Twitter and the like.  Clay Shirky addresses the information overload that Praiser mentions.  Our cyberspace is full of content that would be deemed unnecessary and superfluous.  However, Shirky suggests that the massive amount of content is not intended for a general audience.  The shift of audience throughout out history seems cyclical.  Preior to the printing press, the audience of news was specific.  The printing press allowed for a general audience, and the creating of blogs, and social networking sites has re-emphasized specific audiences.  Connecting Shirky and Praiser in this way shone light on the current reality of media users.  Media users seek to use news to fit their own specific needs and desires.  Praiser suggests “I think people care about what other people care about, what other people are interested in-most important, their social circle.” The regeneration of news has become limited to social circles, and the specific audiences of cyberspace jabber, produced by a multitude of tweeters and social network fiends.


While we know how news is regenerated, through social networking, individual producers, and how a majority of people seek to find their news, we have not answered how the news is originally reported.  Journalists are fading with newspapers, individuals are digging less to uncover the story.  We are finding falsely that Joe Pa is dead because CBS saw twitter updates that he was.  Journalists find the story, report it to a few key people, and the social networking world blows it up. What will happen when they no longer dig and report?


With the deterioration of newspapers and journalism, how will the idea of “being informed” change?  Will our information be limited to the access found and generated in our inner circles? 


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1 Response to Week Four. Regeneration of news

  1. tommyotoole says:

    I think that the personalization of the Internet is definitely changing what it means to “be informed” on a citizen by citizen basis. I fear that many users are not aware of the Internet’s extreme personalization practices and data mining capabilities, so they may believe that everything they are exposed to on the Internet is “what’s important.” To me, this is the scariest aspect of a highly personalized cyberspace. Users operate in a system where they are not aware that information is being hided from them, aimed at them, etc. Individuals could all potentially think they are “informed,” because of a high consumption of media, but they could also fail to have any common knowledge of extremely relevant events due to their highly personalized media diets. People probably think they are informed because they may read a lot on the Internet, but they probably do not share a “common understanding” or general knowledge that defined Civic Discourse in the past.

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