A Step Towards Personalized News

In sighandsight, Robin Meyer-Luch on what Web 2.0 means for information and journalism:

In early December, the deputy editor-in-chief of the online edition of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, felt the unexpected need to unleash a tirade against the “destructive forces of the free-opinion market” on the Internet. In the “faceless and characterless ‘many-to-many’ communication on the web,” knowledge is “trampled into a grass-roots democratic mush.” The “staggeringly unsuspecting public” has been taken in by the idiotic promises of decentralized information, when in fact web forums have little to offer except superficial knowledge, vulgar remarks, and slander. Graff, however, gets caught up in a breathtakingly structural-conservative, know-it-all attitude, which prevents him from making any kind of sophisticated contribution to the debate. For him, the reversibility and decentralization of the Internet are the breeding ground of brazen user-empowerment, serving solely as an end in itself and providing no sort of edification whatsoever – a kind of user-generated discourse delirium.

Graff, like Schirrmacher, is playing on the anxiety of journalisms entropic death on the net. They fear that “good journalism” could perish in the fever of participation, or, at the very least, lose its significance. What is most certainly a difficult path to a new digital information economy is reformulated as a history of loss.