Update July/22/2009

Journalism as a form of public forum?

Okay, what you are about to read, might be a bit of nonsense. I’m putting it down just because I need to organize my thoughts.

The first form of journalism started out at the ancient greek markets. A place where people come and exchange information, and decide policies based on a public consensus. The same form of forum continued for quite a while, until some of our forefathers decided to put the information onto a paper, which then became the first kind of Newspaper.

As our society grew larger, and as people spread out more to different areas of the continent. Newspaper went into mass production and became one of the main channels for people to gather information. It slowly became the creator of a public discourse, it became what we talk about when we meet our friends. “Have you seen the headline today?” A very common question to start a conversation within our daily life.

Journalism, different from news, is the practice in which people create news through a series of professional investigations. Back in the ancient greek markets where people exchanged information with each other in verbal form. Everybody was a journalist themselves, every each and one of them were the gatekeepers of information. They filter, digest and organize what they considered to be important to tell. After entering the age of Newspaper, we gave that power away, to people who we now consider as “Editors.”

That was a few hundreds years ago. Now let’s fast forward to the year 2003. A few years after the dot com bubble exploded, a group of network believers gathered around silicon valley to discuss about their next revolution step. The Web2.0 era.

The use of technology have improved and took our society to places we’ve never imagined before. We now live in a world surrounded by networks, from the deepest oceans to the outer space orbits. Networks appear in every aspects of our living. In this 21 century, we live in a world where every one of us are connected. I shout out “ballocks!” here in California, a guy living on the other side of the world hears it and gives ma thumb up. Isn’t this a bit familiar with the ancient Greek market event I mentioned in the previous paragraphs? Technology breaks the limits of space and time in our environment, it gives us the power to exchange information like how our ancestors did centuries ago. The verbal form of exchanging information is back again.

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