Andrew Keen: “The Huffington Post is Death to Professional Journalism”

Andrew Keen is the author of a book with this title:

THE CULT OF THE AMATEUR: How Blogs, Wikis, Social Networking, and the Digital World are Assaulting our Economy, Culture and Values

In a Word Press Freedom Day Debate he maintained that new media is killing journalism, a line that didn’t win according to Andrew himself., who are responsible for the overly aggressive headline of this story, has got a report up, where this quote stands out:

“It is no coincidence that just as you have the rise of The Huffington Post that encourages people to give away their content for free you have job losses and the death of the professional journalist.”

Read the full piece, and then check out Andrew’s piece in The Guardian, heralding lovely things like this:

The truth is that today’s internet – with its radical challenge to the traditional authority of elitist journalism – is as much a consequence of these socio-cultural changes than a cause of them. Today’s Web 2.0 media is just technology. We bring it to life. When we go online, we are staring into a ubiquitous mirror. New media is us, our collective narcissism, our aggregated hubris. So rather than accusing digital technology of killing journalism, we are the criminals here. It’s our use of democratising internet technology – our cult of the amateur, our cult of authenticity, our cult of ourselves – which is undermining the authority of professional public reporters.

What do you think? Are we killing journalism here?


  1. says

    Survival of the fittest, if you ask me. The better organizations are those which have found ways to embrace the medium. It’s not so much that blogging is killing journalism — it’s that journalism was so dependent on ad revenue to survive. When other forms of media suck away viewers/readers, along with them go the revenue streams. Seems that a business built on such a model is doomed to fail.

  2. says

    No, you’re doing journalism here.

    Print journalists are bemoaning the death of the newspaper is just like Kodak complaining about the digital camera. You saw it coming and you didn’t move. Your problem.

    They’re also bemoaning the loss of authority much more than the loss of jobs. It’s going to take a while, but eventually it will be as prestigious to say that “I write for the [insert name of highly lucrative, professionally written and edited blog here]” as it once was to say “I write for the New York Times.” It’s going to take a while, but a new business model will emerge where sites with good, authoritative, fact-checked content (or vehemently user vetted content) will become the new “mass” media.

    The really great part of all this (I hope) is that the content will be controlled by the many, not the few. The ‘long tail’ aspect of consumption on the internet will allow stories that get killed in traditional print or broadcast media to survive online. The nature of the internet itself will allow the stories to be fact-checked, vetted, discussed by interested parties much more thoroughly than is being done in traditional media. A more democratized media is good for all concerned and democratized doesn’t have to mean ‘amateur’. And just because ‘amateur’ means unpaid, it doesn’t necessarily mean ignorant.


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