Semantic Connections

paperboyhazards1It’s been almost 2 months since I participated in the intense and spectacular conference/discussion/seminar on the Changing Dynamics of Public Controversies (CDPC). Since then, numerous municipal dailies have declared bankruptcy, and the question of the future of journalism has gone mainstream – with urgency. (four print-media-collapse stories on the front page of yesterday’s business section of the nytimes!).

Here are a few of the better analyses that have been buzzing around inside the halls of the Columbia J-School:

So, Why teach journalism if newspapers are dying? One of our Deans has a plan to revamp the curriculum and Keep J-School Relevant, but it hasn’t gained much traction yet. 🙁

And, while we’re on the topic of the Academy, are their institutions next? Maybe not, but the printed scholarly monograph is certainly on the chopping block.

I keep coming back to the generatives described in Kevin Kelly’s Better than Free (skip the giddy utopic intro):

These eight qualities require a new skill set. Success in the free-copy world is not derived from the skills of distribution since the Great Copy Machine in the Sky takes care of that. Nor are legal skills surrounding Intellectual Property and Copyright very useful anymore. Nor are the skills of hoarding and scarcity. Rather, these new eight generatives demand an understanding of how abundance breeds a sharing mindset, how generosity is a business model, how vital it has become to cultivate and nurture qualities that can’t be replicated with a click of the mouse.

Could this be the perspective needed to recalibrate the profit compass and find the Sasquatch of sustainability?

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