Saturday, March 8, 2008

"the Internet isn't a decoration to contemporary society -- it's a challenge to it"

Once you get past the fairly useless lede (and the completely irrelevant title), Salon's interview with author Clay Shirky gets really good really quickly, as he focuses his talk on the implications that the Internet has in upending many societal conventions that have been "incredibly stable over a period of in some cases hundreds of years."

His canary in a coal mine?

Journalism, of course.

He has an interesting take on it that's worth the full read, but here's a tantalizing taste:

The people who are fighting to preserve newspapers are fighting to preserve the wrong thing. They are fighting to preserve an outmoded business model. They can't see that it will not be a problem for society if they don't get their news on paper anymore, but it will be a problem for society if, however they get their news, it doesn't include investigative journalism.