Internet: Friend or Foe to Journalism?

The Great Debate: Has the Internet helped or hurt journalism? This is the question The Economist posed in a debate between NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen and digital media cynic and author Nicholas Carr. Rosen, while acknowledging that the Internet has definitely hurt journalism in meaningful ways (like big staff cuts and the “churnalism” epidemic), argues in favor of the Internet and the changes it has caused. Rosen contends that the Internet and all of its nifty tools have lowered production costs and therefore have also lowered the barriers to entry, enabling more people to enter the world of journalism and to share more ideas. Furthermore, these lower barriers and new technology have shifted the power relations in journalism. There’s no longer an oligopoly, there’s more diversity and quality. Furthermore, writers, content, and readers are not all separated by walls anymore — everyone can interact and engage, which also encourages the creation of quality content. On the other side, Carr is not so smitten with the Internet. He sees the ways in which the Internet has changed the economics and the structure of the field of journalism as grave faults. Carr stresses the huge number of staffing cuts and how this has created a shortage of professional local coverage of state and city government and economic affairs. This creates a lack of accountability in areas that absolutely need to be held accountable. Carr’s other major point is that while the Web has initiated the slow demise of traditional news media, it has not created other adequate modes of journalism to fill the hole. Social media, while it has encouraged citizen journalism and the sharing of content and breaking news, is not a true professional journalistic medium according to Carr. Which side are you in? The Economist

Circles Over Friends?: I don’t have a Google+ account and I don’t plan on getting one anytime soon — one social network is all I can handle at the moment, which is Facebook. But it’s hard these days to get away from all of the Google+ vs. Facebook talk, and one point I found interesting in one of the many articles on the subject was the “power of metaphors.” Simon Dumenco in this AdAge article points out that Google+’s use of “circles” as a way to group connections on the social network is actually a really great idea that could give it an edge over Facebook. Thanks to Facebook, “friend” no longer has the same meaning, or more accurately, it doesn’t really mean anything anymore; and there is no way to distinguish and categorize all of your “friends” on Facebook. It’s just one giant list of names and faces and endless streams of status updates and comments.  AdAge

Tumblr of the Day: You know when you realize you are wearing almost the exact same outfit as someone else? Here is documentation of those awkward moments. I Like Looking Like Other People

eBay Item of the Day: A Casey Anthony rubber mask is being sold on eBay. As the item description tastefully describes it, “Forget Freddy, Jason, Meyers, here’s your chance to scare the *#&% out of everyone and win every costume contest with this amazing Tot Mom latex rubber mask, possibly the most frightening mask on the planet…A significant piece of crime history. No matter what your opinion of the trial is, this is still one heck of a conversation piece. I bet Nancy Grace would love one of these. Fits most heads sizes comfortably. Let’s never forget poor Caylee.” The current bid is at $450.00. Happy bidding! Gawker

Videos of the Day:  The duel between new Old Spice Guy Fabio and old Old Spice Guy Isaiah Mustafa has officially begun. Are you Team Old Spice Guy or Team Fabio? The choice seems pretty clear to me. The Daily What

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