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Friday, January 26, 2007
When the book folds
Speaking again of the future of the book, a reader sends in a referral to a strange mini-movie, or mini-multimedia presentation (say that five times fast) created by the Museum of Media History, Special Projects Division, about what the media landscape will look like in 2015. It's largely about the voiceover, so you'll need to have the volume on.
In this brave new world, Google becomes Googlezon through the merger that implies and competes with Microsoft to make all the world's information accessible -- and alterable by end users, essentially, obviating apparently the need for journalism. Traditional news outlets cease to exist, or, say, decide to go offline and become "newsletters for the elite and elderly" (that's the New York Times he's talking about).
Gotta say I think this is bunk. First of all, 2015 is way too close for these predictions. Second, the need for journalism is less about information now than it is about having an informed person working a beat in some part of the world you can't get to at the moment -- say, Lebanon -- tell you what's really happening (and not just what happened). The Times will have its place even when it is presented in some heretofore undevised medium wherein a 3-D array of virtual screens appears before us (as it does for Tom Cruise in Minority Report, or was it A.I.) and we select information by pulling one out of the sky.