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And That's the Way It Will Be: News and…

And That's the Way It Will Be: News and Information in a Digital World…

by Christopher Harper

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0814735762, Hardcover)

For a book ostensibly about digital journalism, And That's the Way It Will Be seems heavily entrenched in the predigital variety. Sure, Harper refers to Bill Gates and Steve Case--because, after all, they did launch Sidewalk and AOL, and you can't ignore those--but much of the rest of his "analysis" is rooted in traditional media companies who have decided to set up online divisions. "Although individuals can proclaim themselves reporters and put up a news site on the Web," he writes, "large companies tend to dominate the information business, primarily because brand names like Time and the Chicago Tribune provide a link with journalistic integrity." But many recent incidents--in the case of Time alone, one could list the "cyberporn" cover story based on fraudulent data, the darkened cover image of O.J. Simpson, and the hastily retracted story of nerve gas attacks in Vietnam--indicate that mainstream journalism has a severe credibility problem, and that consumers no longer have the same faith in "journalistic integrity" they once had.

Christopher Harper believes that the Internet can reverse the tide of public disdain for the media by providing a user experience that is immediate, interactive, and intimate. But what is a reader to do when confronted with a discussion of the major obstacles digital journalism must overcome that seemingly prioritizes the millennium bug and hackers over editorial accountability? What to make of a consideration of online news that has only superficial references to Salon and Slate and no mention of Matt Drudge? In addition to the lightweight treatment of digital journalism, there is much in And That's the Way It Will Be pertaining to online culture in a much more general sense that has already been better treated in other books, perhaps most notably Steven Johnson's Interface Culture.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:33 -0400)

And That's the Way It Will Be argues convincingly that digital journalism has the potential to reverse the decline in prestige of the mainstream media. Focusing on the public's dissatisfaction with traditional communication sources, seasoned journalist Christopher Harper evaluates computers as a means of providing and receiving news and information. Harper profiles some of the key players in the world of digital journalism including Microsoft, America Online, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and Time Warner. He assesses the impact of digital news in poor neighborhoods and the developing world and explores the issues of pornography, privacy, and government regulation of the Internet's news and information system.… (more)

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