With newspaper closures making … (wait for it) … (wait for it) … headlines lately (rimshot!), it’s worth giving a second read to a TechKnowledge piece from last summer titled, “The Future of News: A Golden Age for Free Speech?” The news business as we know it today is just a historical contingency and in no way essential to democracy or an informed society.
In fact, there is an incredible media explosion underway. The new problems are sifting through all the different sources of news and information, and deciding which to credit. It’s a more complex information environment, but in no sense ill-suited to the maintenance of an informed and aware populus. As with so many things, more choice is better, and we’re up to the task of choosing.
Cato alumnus Adam Thierer has done extensive reporting on the state of the media marketplace, and has some current thinking and links up on the Tech Liberation Front blog. I don’t share his concern with the passing of the home-delivered daily newspaper, and have utter confidence that the future of news is very bright indeed.