Posted by: euromediablog | April 14, 2009

Supporting Press or Journalism?

A week ago the International Federation of Journalists asked the EU authorities officially for political support for the  newspaper industry, because of the financial crisis . Yesterday this appeal was joined by the Spanish Journalism Association FAPE, which also demanded immediate aid for the press industry. It seems obvious that a strong dependence between the press as a technical method for dissemination of information  and the quality journalism is taken for granted.  This assumption has long traditions and dates back to Gutenberg and the invention of the movable type printing. Many scientists since then (Jürgen Habermas for example) have successfully argued that this technical innovation and its later update- the printing press  has played a dominant role for the development of the public sphere in Europe and the rest of the world.

But if the birth of the printing technology gave us the public sphere, will its death deprive us from it? This question is posed by Clay Shirky from Media Guardian, who consequently argues that what we need to concentrate on, are not the newspapers. but journalism itself. According to him, newspapers are obsolete structures that can not survive the obstacles of the changing advertising market (internet and financial crisis) and thus can not provide a suitable structure for journalistic work. Shirky argues:

Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism. For a century, the imperatives to strengthen journalism and to strengthen newspapers have been so tightly wound as to be indistinguishable. That’s been a fine accident to have, but when that accident stops, as it is stopping before our eyes, we’re going to need lots of other ways to strengthen journalism instead

Which other ways exactly remains undefined. Just like the nature of quality journlalism..

For further Information: mediaguardian.co.uk

Related Articles: EU Commission to Help Newspaper Industry?

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