Jean Lievens: Clay Shirky on Changes in News Industry

Jean Lievens
Jean Lievens

The News According to Clay Shirky

Changes in the news industry are making headlines and according to New York University professor and author Clay Shirky, it might be time to stop the presses.

“The newspaper model is going away, and there is no obvious single replacement for it,” says Shirky.

When it comes to what’s in newspapers today, Shirky says it’s not just the news format that is changing – it’s the origin of news contents. In the digital age, people are able to choose their own news rather than having journalists and editors select it for them and similarly, anyone, can report on the news that they see by posting it on social networks.

So when anyone can report on news and hand-select what stories and topics they want to learn about, what does that do to the conventional news machine?

Clay Shirky
Clay Shirky

In short, Shirky says it forces it to upgrade, not disappear.

“It took decades from the invention of the penny press, the first popular newspaper in the 1830s, for the kind of idea of what would constitute the news and how we would treat certain stories to kind of get worked out,” he says. “We’re far, far from that yet on the Internet with citizen journalism.”

How do you get your news? Here more about how your news contributions and selections are shaping the future of what is news from Clay Shirky in his interview, “The End of Newspapers and the Future of News.”