Monday, August 24, 2009

Delicious Today: broadband, wisdom journalism, slow communication

#1: Broadband Catching Up in Rural Areas
"Broadband has experienced the most significant gains in rural areas during the past two years." However, "Broadband penetration of 75% in rural markets remains well below the national average of 89%."
It has been a challenge for public broadcasters to serve rural areas. The increasing adoption of broadband means that people in those area now can access public broadcast online. That's really good news.

#2: Journalism Beyond News: A Call for a Wiser Journalism
"Mere stenographic recording of great, public events has lost much of its value. ... Journalists need to sell something else. The answer, this paper argues, is 'wisdom journalism': an amalgam of the more rarified forms of reporting — exclusive, investigative — with more informed, more interpretive, more explanatory, even more impressionistic or opinionated takes on current events."
This is a thoughtful essay with a historical perspective on the evolution of journalism. The value of traditional journalism is to tell readers what's happening just now, with journalists bearing the role of a witness. In the digital age when a witness is easy to find and quick to report, the value of journalism is shifting to explaining to readers all the prequels that have led to what's happening now. Journalists now need to bear the role of a historian. Reporting the appearance of an ice burg tip is no longer enough to get readers to pay. You need to show them the whole ice burg.

#3: Not So Fast: Sending and receiving at breakneck speed can make life queasy; a manifesto for slow communication
"It is time to launch a manifesto for a slow communication movement, a push back against the machines and the forces that encourage us to remain connected to them. ... If the technology is to be used for the betterment of human life, we must reassert that the Internet and its virtual information space is not a world unto itself but a supplement to our existing world."
This article appeals to the philosopher in me. Chinese art always stresses the importance of empty space in a painting. Buddhist chanting always stresses the importance of silence, the sound that makes all other sounds in the universe possible. Information overload is a huge problem in the digital age. It takes a conscious effort to keep life balanced and playful.

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