Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 17th Jul 2009 21:46 UTC
In the News Every now and then, these news items cross your path that simply don't need any words or imagery in order to make an impact. This is definitely one of those. You all know Amazon's Kindle, right? It's Amazon's successful e-book reader which allows you to buy a subset of Amazon's book catalogue in electronic form. Well, the term "buy" doesn't really apply here. Update: In a rare case of company mea culpa, Amazon has explained that deleting the books was a bad idea, and they assured us it won't happen again. The issue here was that the publisher behind the two Orwell books in the Kindle Store did not have the rights to sell these books, and after Amazon was informed by the rightsholder, they removed the books. Still, according to the NYT, more books were deleted from Kindles, even though Amazon doesn't have the right to do so according to its own TOS.
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I see your point, but still maintain my position. To clarify: I am against oppression of any kind and favor the "freedom of the press" [sic], but I remain highly skeptical about the utopia you painted. (Like I do with all utopias.)

Until I see "the mob" replacing, say... The Economist, Don DeLillo or Reuters, I remain skeptical.

Is there a difference between the writings of a random person in the Internet and a professional writer?

Who will bring us, say, quality news from boring things like daily politics? Facebook? Who will pay for reporters in Afghanistan?

What about the socio-economic background of those who have access to the internet to begin with? No more news from certain parts of Africa?

How about the so-called fourth estate? Who will bring us the next Watergate? Please do not tell me it will be Wikileaks (or even worse, Cryptome) because that surely sounds scary.

Can anyone submit news like in Slashsdot? Rate them too? Will the new brace world of media be as objective as Slashdot?

All in all, always remember that there is more to this than popular culture, Britney Spears, World of Warcraft and Linux. (Pun intended.)

The person you're replying to didn't present a utopia, they presented a modern fact: Autocratic regimes can't thrive in an environment where they don't control the flow of information.

Do you know where the folks from the AP, Reuters, BBC, and CNN all were during the protests in Iran? They were holed up in their hotel rooms, quivering in fear because they were told exactly what would happen if they tried to do their jobs. If you read a single article about the Iran protests by any of those fine, quality news gathering organizations, you'll have noticed that their primary references were Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and the blogosphere.

There's plenty of quality news out there on the internet, and crowdsourcing is a brilliant way to democratize the flow of information, so please save us the arrogance pumped out by such condescending rags as The Economist. Like the other poster said, paper companies are whining because their outmoded business model can't beat back the digital future.

If not for social media, all we Americans would have heard about the Iran protests would have been what the Iran government wanted us to hear. No head counts, no body counts, and no concessions and public admission of failure from the Iranian government. Sure, we might have gotten a few photos here and there from some ballsy journalists who value their integrity over their skins, but just like Tiananmen Square, we'd have been left without a good idea of the scope and scale of the event.

Your problem is that you're assuming all internet-based news is as bad as the worst you've seen. That's like me judging all print media from the crap I see at the checkout stand at my local supermarket. There's a lot of Britney and Days of Our Lives there, too.

You just need to get yourself a better filter.

P.S. There are no more Watergates in print media. Haven't been for a few decades now. And there never will be again. The major media outlets all got bought by (or advertise for) the same corporations who run our industries and own our politicians, so why in the hell would they pay reporters to shine a light on their own dirty laundry?

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