‘ahems and ahahs’

Literature, & Etc.

NEWS

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This weekend I was listening to Rex Murphy on the CBC and the topic was NEWS.

This week on Cross Country Checkup: cbp1055831_veer

The business of news is changing. Blogs, podcasts, online aggregators are all nibbling at the heels of mainstream media such as TV, radio, newspapers and magazines …and the recession is weakening them further.

Newspapers all over the U.S. are downsizing, some are closing their printshops and moving online. In Canada, several broadcasters are struggling and they’re cutting back.

What do you think? What effect will it have on the news? How do you get your news?

I tried calling in but the show is far too popular and as a result the lines were clogged. But I will throw in my two cents here.

I think the internet is wonderful and that it has made news much richer and easier to consume. Think about the old days, sorry to those who would rather re-live those times. 10 Years ago if you wanted news in your city you were most likely limited to a finite number of newspaper and media outlets. A handful of television stations and then your local newspaper, at most two or three in a city. But in today’s modern world, what with all the doo dads and internets and such… we are not as limited.

I consume my news from a variety of sites: CNN, NYTIMES, SLATE, CBC, The Guardian, Mefi (Metafilter), and various other blogs. I also consume a number of blog aggregators that link up with specific themes and topics I am interested in: BritLitBlogs (exactly what it purports to be a site devoted to British Literature Blogs). Some of these sites lean politically to the left and others to the right. And almost all of them contain sections that allow for discussion or commentary on various news or media that is being reported on.

Now of course there are some drawbacks to having this much media bombardment. It is far too easy now to only consume news or media that is associated with the politics that individuals prefer and this can marginalize and estrange people from the real world into thinking that news only has one particular filter or lens. Also, how does a person wade through this mess of the internet with so much to read and stay caught up on. Also, we now have the horror that is 24/7 news, an endless cycle of meaningless reporting on news that is not actually news.

Still despite these drawbacks the internet has brought the news to us in our homes at a very low cost. I can read the TimesofIndia from my couch at home, something that was unfathomable just years ago (cost and accessibility).

I am still a bit weary of the fact that people are now consuming news from sites like facebook or twitter. Yes, it is amazing that people now have the ability to report first hand accounts of news or action that is occurring in front of them, and it does provide other readers the ability to step beyond filters of corporations and media groups that regulate and restrict certain types of news, but then again this also allows joe-blow idiot to spout his inane commentary and views in unintelligent non-academic professional ways. [ The irony that I am doing just such a thing. ]

So what are your thoughts on the changing face of news? Is newsprint dead, should we just let that go the way so many large newspapers have been doing the past few years and shifting online. Is this shift online more problematic? Are we becoming too obssessed with consuming news and the fact that we can now tune in at any moment and be informed of everything and anything, does this provide us with too much content, content that is not edited properly or screened for idiocy???

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Written by thebeliever07

March 25, 2009 at 7:37 am

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