It goes without saying that I’m honored to be speaking to this particular group about this particular subject.
I’m going to open with a quote from the great Bostonian and important American historical figure, Ram Dass, who often says: I’m not here to tell you anything new. I’m here to remind you of things you already know. He would probably add, “Om.”
The reason I’m here, I believe, is that I’m perceived to have been engaged in the battle over the future of news with the technological vanguard and am now asked for a report from the front, to find out how it’s going. What are the prospects for our side?
Last fall, I wrote an essay called “Confidence Game: the limited vision of the news gurus,” about the ideas of leading journalism academics, concentrating on the work of Jeff Jarvis, Clay Shirky, and Jay Rosen, touching on that of a few others. I identified what I called the future of news, or FON, consensus, and argued mostly against it.
The genesis of the article, the reason it cam...