Blog Discussion #1

Folks —

Please read this column by Bill Keller of the NYT and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section here by the start of class on Thursday.



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4 Responses to Blog Discussion #1

  1. Kiri Mullen says:

    I thought the column was very interesting. I also read the author’s previous column that he linked out to, and that was interesting as well. As far as the discussion going on at Stanford about the online university, I think there is no way that either one is the best option. Having classes online gives the student yet another way to use technology, and gain insight to the future of technology, but nothing will ever replace face-to-face contact. For me, being enrolled in a university where the majority of my classes are on campus is really important. I think it is important to learn social skills, and learn how to meet more comfortable and be more comfortable talking to people that you aren’t familiar with. In an online class you don’t get the same interaction; it is much easier to talk to people online than it is to do so in person. Talking to people in person creates a challenge for a lot of people, and in the journalism business especially it is important to learn to overcome that challenge.

    In the second part of the column, Keller discussed the idea that technology killed newspapers. He also gave his opinion that this is not the case. I agree with Keller. Technology was not something that came to be with the intent of killing newspapers; technology is always going to be improving and changing, and it is not all about killing off other kinds of media. Newspapers, just like everything else, are going to learn to adapt to the new technology, and they will stay afloat if they can figure out how to do that. Everything changes over time, and other industries have had to deal with technology changes too. Newspapers are not dead yet, and they won’t be if they can figure out how to use technology to their advantage instead of seeing it as a certain death sentence.

  2. Bill Keller wrote an opinion piece, featured on the New York Time’s website, about whether or not the Internet will save newspapers. Technology, media and the Internet are seen to also help improve education and businesses. This is true, giving more opportunities in these areas and room for growth. Keller writes that technology won’t kill the newspaper business, at least to those who adapt to the new media. I don’t think that technology will kill the newspaper business, if it is turning into a digital business. But, I do think that print journalism and newspapers will eventually be killed because of technology. Paper can’t stream live videos, or have updated photos or conversations. Print can’t keep up with the Internet. A new newspaper can’t be printed every five minutes, when a news worthy event occurs. As Keller mentions, newspapers like the New York Times and Boston Globe have helped save their business by going online, and they even charge for certain content on their website. I wonder what the statistics are of print and digital audiences are for these businesses. Even comparing non-paying sites to sites where you have to pay for the news. Are many people willing to pay when they can get it for free other places?

  3. The idea of online education still seems somewhat daunting to me. It almost seems fake. There is nothing more pure, honest, and human than good old fashioned face-to-face conversation. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea of a virtual campus. I’d much rather make the effort to get on a bus or walk to a classroom with real live peers than sit at a computer screen as my eyes glaze over. The development of news and education through advances in technology is unavoidable, and has been as such. There are so many ways in which this has done wonders for news media, spreading the word, and social networking. Keller explains the change in the success of the newspaper business, and how the Internet affected it. It seems to be a general consensus that online news “killed” newspapers, but Keller offers a different explanation, and details the poor management of newspaper publishers to account for their demise. Newspapers can still hold an important place in the journalism field, and can use Internet as a useful facet. Perhaps one of the points Keller is trying to make is that one is not necessarily better than the other, but the two can both have a place in the news distributing business, and can work together in a sense for optimum success.

  4. Technology is evolutionizing education, and that is what Keller is getting at. I like how he points out that there is no substitute for person-to-person contact; simply because the internet can do most of our communication for us doesn’t mean we don’t require physical interaction. I have avoided taking online courses for this reason. To learn from someone is to observe them, and how can you fully observe them from a remote location? I suppose there are ways via face chat and other software, yet that seems to fall short. However, the internet is the medium of the age. It continues to “save” industries from demise, and also brings other industries to demise. It is making communication more clear-cut and direct, which can only cut out middle men in the process.

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