Inhabiting, Not Consuming, The News

from the it's-an-event... dept

Michael Malone has his latest opinion piece, where he looks at how news consumption has changed over the years, comparing different major news events across time, and noting that, these days, people want to “inhabit the news,” rather than just receive it passively. This shouldn’t be all that surprising. Think of various major media moments (JFK assassination, space shuttle explosion, 9/11) and one thing that people always do is ask the “where were you…?” question. It’s an attempt to bring yourself closer to that event, even though you had nothing, at all, to do with it. However, in some sense, you could go even further. While Malone talks about “inhabiting the news,” it seems that the rise of personal publishing platforms (which he credits for making it possible to inhabit the news) is even more about letting people spread the news themselves. It’s not only that people can “inhabit” and surround themselves with news items and analysis and video and photos, but that anyone can actually take part in adding to that infostream as well. Again, this has huge implications for professional news organizations, who can certainly jump on that bandwagon. Unfortunately, most still seem themselves as being the end-product of news delivery, rather than a raw material that goes into the news flow.

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