Monday, January 26, 2009

French Newspaper Post

French President Sarkozy wants to pay for newspapers to get the younger generation reading newspapers. Sarksozy believes that it is essiential to have an "independent, free and pluralistic press."

Sadly, this is not something we have here in our country. Although we have "freedom of the press" our press isn't necassarily so. Since the news industry has become meida corporations in the age of spin and objectivity, we here in America do not have, in essence, a free, independent press. This is an ideal we had, but now it is merely that, and ideal.

If we could get back to this, that would be an ideal where spin and subjectivity is replaced with straight news and objectivity.

I see no reason as to why the newspaper industry should not be bailed out. The only concern is that the government may get control of the press, creating a more propaganda publication. If this was insured to not happen, the paper should be bailed out. Since it works for the public interest, the government should give money to keep their citizens informed.

Future Shock Response

The future shock phenomenon that Toffler wrote about in the 1970s no longer exists in today's ever-changing society. From i-pods to computers, or just the phone that does it all, we welcome change with open arms--and wallets--and will do anything to get the newest and fastest form of technology. Even older generations of people are learning to keep up and adapt to the change around them. With some of us feeling that "information overload" is in the air due to the many new forms of technology that now exist, we must understand that we are the ones encouraging the production and feeding on the supply of these new devices. 
Though this trend may seem great now, what happens if this electronic form of media takes over other outlets? First, finding a job after college with a PRINT journalism degree is not going to be fun. With the internet literally at our fingertips, many people are using some form of electronic media and cutting out any kind of hard copy. Does this mean that eventually all newspapers and magazines are going to become extinct? That question is up for debate but in my opinion they will always be here. Maybe not continuing to be as prominent as they once were, but still fighting for recognition. 

Toffler Response

In today's society I do not believe many people are too stressed out by change. In fact, I think we all expect it to happen and we accept change as it comes. Think about buying a new phone, for example. You can go out and buy the new touchscreen keypad that has a GPS navigation system and an itunes library, or you can wait a month or two for a newer, more advanced one to come out. For our generation, change comes very easily and naturally. We can't WAIT for the next device to come out, but why? It may be harder for earlier generations to take this all in--try teaching your mother how to text--but advances in technology is something that will continue to keep us going. Yeah, we don't really need it...but when something new is there, we want it, and we WILL buy it. It's just how it works.

I don't really believe that our society is suffering from an "information overload." New information can be found all around us, anywhere we look, but it is up to us to choose what we want to learn, what we want to listen to, or what we want to read. And of course there's always Google to help us search for what we are looking for...

If this trend continues, I do believe news/media will be affected. We have seen changes in the way we retrieve our daily information already in the past few years. The internet is certainly a great way to get information, but what is to become of our other outlets? Print publications for example have probably been hit the hardest. People are taking advantage of the quick and easy access to information (internet, browsers on their cell phones, etc.). It's much easier and more entertaining to go online and find a short video to watch, rather then to sit down and read the newspaper.

Response to France

Idealisticly speaking, OF COURSE the government should bail out the newspaper industry in these times of great woe. The newspaper industry helped shape so much of our nation and has for years on end provided information that has kept the population aware and in the know and able to form their own opinions on great matters. President Sarkozy certainly is on to something with his efforts in France to provide newspapers, stating the obligation of the state to provide "an independent, free and pluralistic press", but is the internet no longer considered in this category? I think one of the major causes of the decreaed populatiry of printed newspapers is the easy access to equally reliable online publications. So while I would like to see governmental aid in a field that I personally believe to be beneficial to the United States, I do not think it is fully warranted or that it would ever happen. Then again, I'm still questioning the legitimacy of all the other financial bailouts we've seen recently.

"Future Shock" Response

I agree with the idea of "future shock." While many members of society have gotten used to change, I don't think we've adapted to as much as we like to think. Not only has technology changed, but the expectations of how we interact with that technology have changed. We've more from more passive to more active interaction, and the average consumer or end user is expected to know a lot more. This might account for the reason there is a “computer savvy” but not a “television savvy.” And consumers of technology have to be more sophisticated. There are so many choices that it can be overwhelming. Not everyone can be a savvy, sophisticated consumer, and maybe those expectations are too high.

I think many people experience “information overload.” It can be hard to process all the information we have access to and to sort out which information is credible. You could turn up thousands of results with an online search and still not find what you’re looking for. You could be bombarded with ads and propaganda so it’s hard to figure out what you can believe. And you could immerse yourself with constantly updated information 24/7 (online or with cable news). When you can receive information all the time, how much time should you spend doing that?

The news industry has necessarily adapted to changes in technology, but the big problem will be meeting consumer expectations when it comes to technology in the Information Age, especially on the internet. Should an entire newspaper be available free online? Should broadcasters post videos? Do readers/viewers expect to be able to post comments? Where do advertisers fit in? I think the news industry will have to go through a paradigm shift to make it work.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Future Shock Post

I can't speak for those who experienced technological change in the '70s, but I think right now, in terms at least of my generation, we are impatient for technological change--not intimidated. The cell phone, for example, started out as a huge box with buttons. And now, we use it to take pictures, listen to music, play games, plan our days, send emails and text. Its most basic, essential function--actually being a phone--is its most trivial. Who doesn't eagerly await Apple's press releases announcing new products and features. Who isn't eager to upgrade to a new, shiny iThing.

The information media have already begun to adapt to our propensity for text messages and instant notifications. The New York Times, for example, has a mobile phone service which sends updates directly to subscribers' phones. It gives you "All the News That's Fit to Go"! And news organizations are not only responding with instant messages. Podcasts are another response to technological advancements, providing video or audio bytes for traveling devices and computers. The information media are moving away--have to move away--from print and are converging with other mediums in order to survive the demands of today's technologically impatient consumers.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Response to "Future Shock"

When Toffler came to his conclusion about techonology, it was a different time. In the 1970s, we as a nation did not have the kind of grasp on technology that we do today. Toffler's world was not one of 24 hour news channels and the internet. These things have expanded and grown and become something that few in the 1970s could have envisioned. When Toffler wrote his book, the technology we are used to today was only at its beginning, and I imagine that was quite scary. I have grown up with these tools and technology, and to me they are common place. I am not stressed by these things. Most technology today has a way in which it can be made better, more efficient, and I look forward to seeing what they can do with technology in the future. I think my generation is one that welcomes progress and can roll with technology because we have gotten so used to it in our lives.
When it comes to the news, there is so much to see and hear. News is being thrown at us from all directions. I think this gives people the opportunity to pick and choose their information better than they have ever been able to before, and there is definitely no shortage of news to choose from. However, there are downsides to this. In my opinion, the quality of the news has gone down a bit. And with all of the stories being thrown at us, I think sometimes people learn to drown out news, and it may cause them to miss important facts.
I do see significance to Toffler's theory, and on some aspects I agree, but I think that Toffler's theory had much more relevance to his generation.

Future Shock Post

I can see how Toffler could come to that conclusion, but because I live in this age I more than welcome all the information being thrown at me at once. I admit that it takes a while to get used to, but there is an upside to having information so readily at hand. We have the resources to gather and decode a story or article. We can cross reference if need be and then compare this story with that one. Technology had advanced a great deal, I won't dispute that, but the benefits are tremendous. By having everything thrown at us we can pick and choose what's important to us and move on from there. We can compare what was or was not highlighted in one place and go look for answers to those questions somewhere else. The information being pitched to us in great numbers is intimidating I’m sure, but as you focus on one topic and then move on the fear becomes less than if you tried to process it all at once.
I do agree that we today are hungry for information and impatient for change. It seems that instant gratification is no longer fast enough and we want what we want when we want it and it's now. I think that information media will continue to struggle with the rising technology as the future continues, and I hope that I'll be able to keep up with the change.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Response to Toffler post

I can see both sides of the argument.
On one hand, we are bombarded with thousand upon thousands of images, information, etc. With the Internet now on phones, 24/7 news, and the ability to never be out of touch with the world, it can lead to overload, and even withdrawal if the technology is taken away.

But, one can also see that we are immune to sensory overload, and one example can be involved with the media today. With so many stories about death, murder, rape, double homicide, and so on, one does become immune as the talking head jumps from story to story with a casual, almost non chalant feeling.

In regards to the news, I think it is clear to see that stories have gotten shorter, flashier, and have lost substance. Today's generation IS impatient. Not many want to sit down and read a paper, but rather have it beamed into their retinas in 30 second snip its.

So I guess, overall, I don't agree with Toffler's theory completely.