A conference at Harvard's Nieman Foundation, titled "Media, Technology and the Common Good" is discussing the future of media. Reports are available on the Media Center at the American Press Institute
Questions being discussed include: Should the traditions of professional journalism survive? What are the implications for society? How can we trust in the emerging ecosystem of participatory, always on media?
Len Apcar, Editor-in-Chief of nyt.com, opened with these remarks: "The stakes have never been higher. There is a serious question in my mind whether this new medium can support the great news-gathering operations that big media represent. I don't think it can. Newspapers will have to reinvent themselves."
There you have it. The dirty secret. If online operations can't earn the sorts of revenues that traditional print businesses have, or if the development of new revenue streams takes too long, then journalism as we've known will be in real danger.
The conference organisers are producing some nice Flash-based multimedia pieces of the speakers.
David Weinberger, author of Small Pieces Loosely Joined and co-author of Cluetrain Manifesto, speaks about his curiosity about the conversational nature of blogs and how big media responds to the changing reader-author relationship.
Blogger Halley Suitt told the group, "it's not what the bloggers are doing, it's what the audience is doing that we should be focusing on."
EPIC co-creator Matt Thompson talks about the feedback the piece has generated, how and why there is a forthcoming new version, and what intrigues him now.