28. Are journalists increasingly unnecessary middlemen? Do newsmakers need publishers? Can sources increasingly reach readers/viewers/listeners directly, rather than through a media outlet? Is this purely better, or can it be detrimental, cutting out journalists’ unbiased filtering and framing?
By Nieman Lab (Megan Garber)
January 26, 2011
…among the participants in the [State of the Union] extravaganza was the Obama administration itself: On Whitehouse.gov, you could not only watch the speech, but also, in that very Gov 2.0 kind of way, “engage” with it.
That’s nothing new. Whitehouse.gov as its own broadcasting channel has been around since (at least) 2002…
In other words: Minus the “news analysis” columns, the factchecks, the interactive graphics, and the Wordles (oh, the Wordles), the page’s content is remarkably similar to what you might find featured on pretty much any traditional media outlet.
…it’s also one that seems to solidify something that’s been building since that first SOTU livestream in 2002: government acting not just as a media outlet, but as an alternative media outlet. A Whitehouse.gov that’s presenting itself as a destination unto itself — a Whitehouse.gov that is, in other words, cutting out the middleman, denying the need for a connector in the first place — renews an old question: What does it mean for journalism when traditional media coverage becomes an option rather than a given?
By Gigaom (Mathew Ingram)
January 30, 2012
… [Media writer Brian] Stelter said that “sources going direct,” as [Rupert] Murdoch has done with Twitter, is one of most disruptive changes that have hit journalism in the digital age, and the thing that “keeps me up at night.” Stelter is right to be concerned — it is clearly a paradigm shift. But is it good for journalism?
… it is just another example of the “sources going direct” — to use a phrase that blogging pioneer Dave Winer coined some time ago to describe what happens when those who are directly involved in the news have the ability to publish their own thoughts, and reach readers and viewers directly. First, that ability came through blogging, and now it has been amplified even further with Twitter and other social tools. It’s all part of what Om has called the “democratization of distribution.”
…it removes the need for the journalist as middleman or information gatekeeper. In the past, a journalist could have made a pretty good name for themselves by simply getting access to Rupert Murdoch and quoting his thoughts on Barack Obama or Google — but now, he is providing those himself.
Over the past year, we have seen this phenomenon accelerate to the point where the White House is doing live discussions on YouTube, taking questions from Twitter during a “town hall,” and now is doing Google+ “hangouts” where the president responds to citizens with concerns about the country. This has gone so far beyond the fireside radio chats that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt used to communicate his message that it’s almost hard to fathom how much has changed in just a few decades.