Tag Archives: soren kierkegaard

Is Ice Cream Strawberry? Part 3: The production line has been replaced by a network

This is the third part of my inaugural lecture at City University London, ‘Is Ice Cream Strawberry?’. You can find part one here, and part two here.

The production line has been replaced by a network

The problem is that most media organisations still think they are manufacturing cars, and they still see journalists as part of an internal production line.

Even the most progressive simply expect existing staff to become multiskilled multiplatform journalists, doing more work – but still on the same production line.

But we can redraw that diagram of the overlapping of newsgathering, production and distribution as a network diagram. And the problem with the production line approach becomes more apparent.


The news industry is caught trying to straddle the gap between the physical, and the digital. Continue reading

Andrew Marr fails to learn from his own history

“It is frightful that someone who is no one… can set any error into circulation with no thought of responsibility & with the aid of this dreadful disproportioned means of communication”

That’s not a quote from Andrew Marr, but Soren Kierkegaard writing about newspapers in the 19th century. Here’s another:

“I do not mean to be the slightest bit critical of TV newspeople, who do a superb job, considering that they operate under severe time constraints and have the intellectual depth of hamsters.  But TV news can only present the “bare bones” of a story; it takes a newspaper, with its capability to present vast amounts of information, to render the story truly boring”

Strange that the author of one of the best histories of British journalism can fail to remember how each new platform for journalism has been greeted, and how fuzzy the concept of journalism is.

“Journalism includes drunks and dyslexics and some of the least trustworthy, wickedest people in the land … The reader doesn’t know who pretends to make the necessary phone calls, but never bothers; or that this one hates Tories and always writes them down.”

That’s a quote from Andrew Marr’s book. Here’s another:

“In a complicated, developed society, much of the most important finding out can only be done by people with narrower, sharper skills – microbiologists, meteorologists, opinion pollsters and market analysts, whose discoveries journalism simply passes on in a more popular (and generally distorted) form.”

Sounds like bloggers to me.

Marr doesn’t even need to look very far back. This fake-debate was laid to rest years ago (is anyone really claiming that citizen journalism will entirely replace professional journalism? Or still trying to compare blogging – a technical process – with journalism – a cultural construct?). As I tweeted yesterday: the year 2005 called, Andrew. They want their prejudices back.

Meanwhile, Channel 4 journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy has written eloquently in defence of bloggers and the need to engage through social media.