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4. John Markoff, “Why Newspapers Still Matter” (2007)

4. John Markoff, “Why Newspapers Still Matter” (2007)

We’re going to start in 2007 with John Markoff, who distinguished himself as a journalist for the New York Times by being the person who chronicled the pursuit of “phone phreak” and hacker Kevin Mitnick.

John positions himself on the side of the newspapers, or at the very least on the side of information elegance. The premise is that print organizes and refines, while the web provides huge torrents of undifferentiated data, “We’ve become a nation of wire editors,” he says, talking about the 100s of RSS feeds that he parsed through daily.

Two years later, its both a little better and a little worse.

Twitter and Social Networks like it have transformed us from wire editors to filters, continuously parsing torrents of data down to what each of us finds interesting, and casting those bits of news out into the ether to the people who trust our opinions (at least enough to follow us). This would be great if in those two years we didn’t multiple the amount of available information to such a degree that even with everyone filtering everyone else, there is still the sense that you’re drowning in a sea of information.

The rest of the video gives equally lucid insights into John’s love hate relationship with how news is reported in the paper, that and Vinny Aspirin, you’ll learn about him too.

My question for you, do you think we read newspapers on the web the same way we read them in print? What’s different for you?

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