More and more people get their news relayed by friends. The social news cycle is 24/7.
“The number of people who told me that the kids were texting during Thanksgiving dinner I think was hitting a record this year.”
Alex Alben is an intellectual property lawyer in Seattle, he’s testified before Congress on Internet piracy and is certainly no Luddite. But in his book Analog Days he worries about digital news replacing analog news.
“When you look for digital information, you have to enter in the search phrase and have an idea, but when you are flipping through a newspaper or rows of a library, there’s a sense of discovery.”
In the old analog world, you were exposed to stories you would never even think to search for, gathered by institutions that had a face, not just a web page.
Alben’s first job was as a researcher for Walter Cronkite.
“There was a most trusted man, Walter Cronkite, who had earned this over a career and it was built by this institution, CBS, that really took journalism seriously as a mission to tell the American people, in a balanced and carefully researched way, everyday what happened in the world.”
“If a reporter got something wrong, there were consequences,” remembers Dave.
“Right, they were fired. Today, it’s all opinion, so you really can’t be wrong.”
Well of course opinions can be wrong, but as long they’re controversial and get an audience, they can spread just as as anything broadcast on a network.
Alex Alben’s book is called Analog Days; How Technology Rewrote Our Future.