Tuesday, August 11, 2009
The rise of the internet has undermined the business model of newspapers and caused them significant economic hardship. This raises the question of what other technologies for dissemination of information have faced similar problems and overcome them. One analog is that of the town crier. Town criers still exist. Crazy people ranting in parks are the only remnant of the once-proud vocation of the town crier. Given their obvious insanity, these town criers' pronouncements are no longer taken as authoritative. The more I read, "He said, she said," news reports--false equivalencies of obviously different positions--the more I think that newspapers are attempted to adopt this model.