Thinking the thinkable

I have read Clay Shirky’s Thinking the Unthinkable. I have read the responses, the praise, most recently from Josh Young.

And I am confused.

I skimmed through Shirky’s post not because I didn’t agree with him, but because I couldn’t understand why he felt like mentioning it now. Through the few years now I’ve been reading this “future of news” cohort I suppose I thought half the point was to imagine “a future without newspapers,” or at least a future with newspaper companies that looked nothing like what we’re accustomed to.

Why else would mainstream newspaper journalists be so upset with bloggers and writers who were excited about where the digital world could take journalism. I had assumed they felt a new breed of journalist and medium breathing down their neck. Bloggers, for there part, did what they could to avoid kicking dust on the incoming graves, but were still trying their damndest to prepare the journalism world for what was coming.

When print reporters and columnists ask, “but who will report on city council?”, what would they have in mind other than a world in which their job, as they experience it, did not exist? The fact that bloggers have attempted to respond to their questions

Or so I thought. I don’t mean to say, “everybody’s late to the party.” I suppose instead I’m concerned about having misread these offerings the entire time. If people had been saying what I thought they were saying, I’m not sure there would have been such a fantastic reaction to what Shirky proposed.

So where do I go now?

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