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Purpose of this Blog

by Steve Boriss

What will “the news” look like once things have finally stabilized, following the disruptions caused by Internet and Cable TV news? Will the existing leading institutions like newspapers (particularly the New York Times and Washington Post), TV networks, and the Associated Press continue to have the influence they have had in the past? Will “blogs” become a permanent “David” flinging stones at these “Goliaths,” but never achieving a permanent victory, nor a lasting peace? Will modern journalism’s principles of objectivity, truth, verification, the public’s right-to-know, and disdain for the sensational be relevant, or will news become more similar to other consumer products, with news providers scrambling to meet their customers’ needs?

This blog will provide a forum for answering these questions, and it will concurrently present an evolving, increasingly refined vision of the future of news.

But, this will also be a blog with a point-of-view. It will critique emerging events against a positive vision for where news “ought” to be headed, to regain some of the ground lost since Thomas Jefferson’s passing. Jefferson’s hope was for news in America to be a freewheeling marketplace of ideas in which many disparate voices were heard, with government policy dictated and its actions controlled by the sum of individual opinions. But, shortly after his death, America inadvertently began to shift in reverse due to a combination of technology, government action, journalism theory, and a few, arguably anti-competitive, business practices.

Hopefully, this blog will make a small contribution toward the emergence of better news products and services than are available to Americans today. It will seek to guide and inspire the work of individuals who are creating this future.

The vision presented here is quite different from much of the current thinking. Its foundation is research and analysis I conduct for the class “The Future of News” that I teach at Washington University in St. Louis. The vision is based on a multi-disciplinary exploration of the subject of news, primarily technology, consumer marketing, business strategy, history, political science/government, and journalism. The articles posted in the Permanent Articles section on the right side of the home page reflect some of these ideas, but by no means most of them.

I invite you to visit often and post your thoughts. I hope this blog will be a collaborative exercise toward the creation of better news.

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