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Gutenberg Lamented

The Nieman Foundation for Journalism (Harvard University) has just put online its Winter 2006 issue, titled Goodbye Gutenberg.

The entire issue focuses on web journalism and new media and of particular isterest to me is their coverage of Web 2.0, citizen reporters, online communities and webforum anonymity and pseudonymity. The main viewpoint is from "old media", where edited news is under attack by the forms and genres of the web. Here is a typical example, from Francis Pisani's article on Journalism and Web 2.0:

The role of editors is under attack from three sides. On Google News and on sites such as Le Monde.fr, algorithms are used to redistribute stories onto the home page. Search engines direct readers to articles, effectively bypassing editors' guidance and, with RSS and aggregators, users grab what they want from sources they fancy and organize them in personalized spaces.

But despite the conservatism of this and most of the other pieces, the issue contains a lot if food for thought, and is required reading for anyone interested in online communities and new media.

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