Ed Wasserman, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation professor of journalism ethics at Washington and Lee University finds cause for optimism in all the venture capital, conferences and media experiments. But he also, rightly, questions whether it's too little, too late. The entire business model of media now seems to revolve around the incredible lightness of bullshit.
Still, the chatter and innovation, so often illuminated by a few social media watchers like of NYU's Jay Rosen (whom I refer to as thought pimps), are a welcome development. Despite our best efforts toward a media-enabled cultural suicide, sometimes unforeseen things— even good ones—can appear. Accidents do happen. Just ask Snooki.
It wasn't just that the crumbling of the century-old pillars of advertising support had raised doubts about whether a new microeconomics of news was feasible. There was also dark brooding about whether journalism still had a place in public life, or whether a professional practice of fact-based reporting about contemporary realities would vanish, and be replaced by a clamor of opinion mongering, speculation, gawking and manipulation by marketers and publicists.
But suddenly, it seems, the clouds are parting. We've entered a time of dreams and hopes, of growing buoyancy. I know this from the glut of industry gatherings.