Years ago, I was part of a panel preceding the IABC World Conference in Toronto. The conversation dealt with the future of online news, which was a new and not universally accepted idea back then. I raised Nicholas Negroponte’s vision of “The Daily Me.” Negroponte was the director of the MIT Media Lab at the time. He envisioned the day we’d all be able to curate our own newspapers containing news and opinions about the things we’re interested in. As New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof put it in a column from 2009, “Each of us is our own editor, our own gatekeeper…. And if that’s the trend, God save us from ourselves.”
That was pretty much the view of another panelist, from Canada Newswire, who was aghast at the idea. Editors fulfill an important role, he insisted. They determine what readers should know about in order to have a balanced view of world (as well as national and local) events. If you don’t care what’s happening in Ferguson, Missouri, you should at least see the headline and be aware of what’s going on. The idea that you could completely ignore important news was horrifying to him.
I sympathized. I even agreed. My question to him and the rest of the panelists, though, was simple: What are you going to do about it? Because surely the day is coming when people would have the ability to get a daily newspaper that was filtered based on their interests and, given the opportunity, people would take advantage of it.
Social media emerges as a news source
“The Daily Me” never materialized as a unified product. Instead, what we face today is far more problematic when it comes to ensuring the public is well informed....
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