Journalism on the internet – one concrete thought

Over the last couple of years, there has been a discussion about the changing world of journalism. The non-journalists are declaring that the old world is no longer relevant. The old world is calling the new journalism on blogs a recipe for disaster … half truths.

Its an interesting debate, and I think both sides have points. I do have one realization to mention that is concrete and relevant. The filters are no longer there. You can actually go to the source. With Google and Wikipedia, you can usually go directly to a site that goes into tremendous detail about events.

If you liked a particular band, you can actually go to the site where the band blogs themselves.

If you were into a particular game, you can read the blog or web site of the actual people involved.

I know those examples sound trivial, but that is kind of the point. Even the trivial, which can be interesting to just a few, is available.

That big difference between now and the past is that the actual person involved with something can actually put their stories up on the net for anyone to read. You can read the thoughts that they publish on a wide variety of topics. This is a huge difference.

What I’ve found, when I started reading the information, is that the old filters (the journalists) tended to embelish or twist things a bit. The actual accounts by the people involved are much richer. You learn more about the years leading up to their ‘overnight success’. You learn about the characteristics of their group that allowed them to succeed where others did not.

One of the best examples in the computer history field was the folklore.org project. Most of the reporting before that was never as interesting or detailed. In fact a lot of computer companies wanted to prevent others from knowing who their star programmers were. As a result, very little about them or their stories was published.

Just the other day I was reading about the guys behind Silicon Beach Software. That led me to a bio about Don Daglow. This guy was involved in gaming since the teletype days. He was also involved with Stuart Smith on Adventure Construction Set… which was an influence on Racing Construction Set…. I could go on and on.

In the old days, the most you got was the magazine article that described only 1/10th of the story. In the old days, the media limited the amount of information. The internet has truly changed this. I can say wholeheartedly that this is a tremendous good.

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