• Social media is challenging traditional journalism. The journalist is no longer on high addressing a passive audience. That is the way it was to a great extent, but that time will soon be over. We won't, however, end up at the other extreme, described by the US media theorist Clay Shirky, among others. In his book Here comes everybody Shirky painted the picture of everyone speaking with everyone. Everyone would become journalists.
       Three years ago, we described a synthesis of the established and the new in our interactive book "Journalism 3.0 - Media Ecology". We called that synthesis Journalism 3.0. It's time to check back in. Swedish Radio CEO Cilla Benkö and her predecessor Mats Svegfors share their views on what has happened since they launched the interactive book, the discussion forum it provided, and the term Journalism 3.0.

  • On November 16th, 2010, we published our virtual book Journalism 3.0 - Media Ecology and the Future. We had begun this book project a year before then in the autumn of 2009. Today, our online book and the debate blog is celebrating its second anniversary and we can say that developments that we have tracked in the past year have been dramatic.  
      Cilla Benkö, director general of Swedish Radio, and Mats Svegfors, former director general of Swedish Radio, take a look back.


    ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY. In the middle of November 2010, we published our virtual book Journalism 3.0 – Media Ecology and the Future. We had started the project a year earlier, back in the fall of 2009. Smartphones were still something rather new: Apple's 3G model had been around for just a little more than a year and iPad had not yet been officially launched in Sweden.
       Our ambition with the project was to discuss media development and its influence on politics in a democratic society. Mats Svegfors and Cilla Benkö summarize the first year of Journalism 3.0 on its first birthday.

  • Welcome to a book that we hope you will write together with us!

    We—Mats Svegfors, Director General and Cilla Benkö Deputy Director General of Swedish Radio —had thought we would write a traditional book about media development. We soon discovered—as did Lars Johannesson with whom we are working on this project—that there is both too much and too little knowledge about media and media use. The task of exposing today’s situation and understanding what it is that ultimately determines future advances gets lost amid the wealth of information produced all over the world about media use, media economy and media technology. And one of the tools needed for the task—a theory of media for sorting and systematizing the knowledge—doesn’t exist. How do we, in this day and age, manage such an analysis under uncertain conditions? Well, we utilize the very chaotic media reality that we’re looking at.


    Was the 2010 Swedish parliamentary election decided on the Internet? What really happened when Barack Obama was elected America’s president in 2008? Was this the first time social media was the determining factor for democracy?
       Clear-cut answers don’t exist, but one element is apparent: the large electorates participate in the democratic process through established media. It’s there they meet up with the content that determines their political positions. But at the same time established media has weakened. Superficially, the old structure appears strong but there are cracks in the foundation.
       Where will democracy take place in the future? Everyone knows huge changes are occurring. But still the purveyors of big media seem to assume that tomorrow will be essentially like yesterday—that everything will be different while hardly anything will be changed.

    Social media, Emilie, Barack Obama, Youtube, television debates, Twitter, Facebook, MyBo, daily newspapers, Rupert Murdock, BSkyB, Max Weber, Jürgen Habermas, Manuel Castells, Marshall McLuhan, Clay Shirky, Wikinomics, ABC News, Bonnier


    HISTORY. Newspapers are our oldest mass medium. It wasn’t until the telegraph, however, made the transmission of news independent of geographic distances that newspapers became a modern mass medium. Newspapers reigned sovereign for the next 100 years. It gained a monopoly on information, it gained political power, and it created enormous fortunes for owners.
       Radio broke the grip of the newspapers during the 1920s. Three decades later, television grew out of the big radio companies. Newspaper, radio and television became the media of the modern era. This era has ended; we live in a new time. The time serpent is molting. We don’t yet know what the new skin will look like. We don’t recognize it; we can’t distinguish it. We’re even less able to discern its pattern.

    Berlingske Tidende, telegraphy, train traffic, telephone, telefax, development block, Erik Dahmén, daily newspaper circulation, The Times, The Guardian, Metro, Wikipedia, BBC, Herbert Hoover, SBS, MTG, Spotify, Pandora, NPR, FCC, NBC, CBS, ABC, Karmansbo, Tony Judt, Hans L Zetterberg, The time serpent (Tidens orm)


    FORM AND CONTENT. There’s a common logic in media: That which suits television is aired on television; if something makes a good headline, it’s placed on the front page of the newspaper.
       In this way, media shapes society. Media technology determines the content. And the content in media determines images of society. But perhaps it’s not that simple. The interaction between technological, political and commercial forces can be significantly more complex. The Third Reich made radio big. Consumerism has made daily newspapers and television big. The media society is now experiencing rapid transformation. It’s a battle between forces and counterforces; stakes are high and the outcome uncertain.

    Kim Phuc, Alan Down, Trang Bang, Vietnam War, New York’s population, 1700s Stockholm, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst, Marshall McLuhan, Franklin D Roosevelt, “Fireside Chats”, Charles Lindbergh, HG Wells, Orson Welles, Adolf Hitler, Kristina Riegert, Winston Churchill, BBC, John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Christopher Wain, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tiananmen Square, 9/11, Rwanda, Iraq, Afghanistan, Wikileaks, Ground Report


    ESTABLISHED MEDIA. Large economic shifts are occurring within the world of media. Internet revenue, for both its use as well as advertising, is virtually exploding. At the same time, newspaper revenues are down and television is stagnating.
       The response from the daily newspapers is to save, save, save. Inevitably, editorial ambitions are lowered. In principle, the same forces are at work in commercial television. Its response is to shift the focus from news and socially relevant context to entertainment. For several reasons, it is difficult for the established media companies to compete against the entrepreneurs of the new media economy. This is particularly true for the daily media. For journals and books, the situation is different.

    PricewaterhouseCoopers “Global Entertainment and Media Outlook”, Internet access, daily newspaper revenues in North America, advertisement dependency, employed by American daily newspapers, daily newspapers in Western Europe,productivity, efficiency, review, savings, rationalizations potential, low cost TV, television, news office, structured costs, local editorial offices, genre editorial offices, Svenska Dagbladet, Dagens Nyheter, tabloid format, broadsheet, Baumol's Disease, Bill Hackos, Newsweek, Der Spiegel, The Economist, L’Express, Le Nouvel Observateur, News Corp, Metro, e-book, e-newspaper, bookreading, e-reader, iPad magazine


    ANOTHER WAY OF THINKING. There are a number of well acknowledged and renowned commentators who seriously endeavor to see into the digital future: Clay Shirky, Chris Anderson, Alex S Jones, Jay Rosen, and Jeff Jarvis, to name few. The debate is ongoing, mainly in the USA although not exclusively. It’s easy to find quality contributions to the discussion, on the Internet and in books, about the totally different future.
       It’s much more difficult, if not impossible, to find commentators who claim, in an intellectual and credible manner, that daily newspapers will once again regain their former position. Even fewer voices try to prove that news and current events television programs will once again become the meeting place for democratic enlightenment and dialogue.

    Facebook, Google, Wikipedia, Clay Shirky, Chris Anderson, Wired, The Long Tail, niche channels, TV 4, Rapport 19.30, ABC, CBS, NBC, Alex S Jones, Jay Rosen, Jeff Jarvis, Shorenstein Center, Jason Pontin, Technology Review, Kevin Kelly, James Fallows, The Atlantic, Nieman Journalism Lab, Nieman Reports, The State of the News Media, Reuters Institute, Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, Charlie Beckett, POLIS, Elihu Katz, The Annals, Milly Buonanno, Nordicom, Ulla Carlsson, Pelle Snickars, Lars Ilshammar, Lars Nord, ”Framtidens medietider”, Ingela Wadbring


    THE INTERNET MEDIA. We talk about tomorrow, but there’s so much that is new that doesn’t belong to tomorrow; it’s already in place. This is apparent regarding social media. But new media also fills “old media” functions. Users share news on Facebook. News tips are passed on via Twitter. But someone has to provide the original journalism that is being shared. There are also “neo traditional” media: In the USA, Huffington Post and Politico are two examples, reporting on politics and social issues. So far, USA is leading this area since American society is so much bigger and more often reaches “critical mass”.

    Yahoo, America Online, Huffington Post, Politico, Pro Publica, Slate, About.com, Google, Facebook, Twitter

  • USE

    USE. New media appear but the old remain. This is what’s been said since the breakthrough of television in the 1950s. It still applies. The big difference now is that new media undermine the economic basis of the old media. The average Swede spends plenty of time online but it’s still the traditional media that dominate when it comes to news and current events. Generational differences are significant. The Internet is changing the Swedish media society. The changes are even more tangible in the USA.
       Much points toward a socially and culturally stratified media society. A global, English-language public arena is taking shape. This can facilitate democracy on a national level but it demands national broad media that connects the global availability of qualified knowledge with the national public.

    Mediebarometern, Nordicom, Mediesverige 2010, Olle Findahl, Svenskarna och internet 2009, Pew Research Center, Fox News, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, World Internet Institute, Unga svenskar och internet 2009, Nick Bilton,  Veckans Affärer, Fokus, Härliga hund, Ny Teknik 


    FUTURE STUDIES. Internet is really not only about media. Internet is changing society in many different areas as well, and many of these are just as important as media: healthcare, education, and traffic safety, to name a few. Indeed, our entire society is changing. It’s also possible that entirely new technological achievements will alter our existence. Maybe it will be the small-scale biotechnology that’s going to turn our world upside down. Or new medications that lead to a longer life.
       It’s quite peculiar: when we endeavor to see into the future, we always turn backward to see what has already changed and we believe it will be similar in the future: more of that which has already happened.

    Christian Science Monitor, Disruptive Civil Technologies, National Intelligence Council, Internet of Things, IoT, machine to machine, M2M, RAND Corporation, ubiquitous, u-IT, Markus Gossas, Torbjörn Lundqvist


    THE FAILURES. Just because technology is new and interesting doesn’t imply success. Media developments of recent decades include at least as many failures as successes. Naturally, we haven’t heard as much about Microsoft’s Kin as we have about Apple’s Iphone.  In less than two months, the Kin proved to be a spectacular failure whereas in less than two years the Iphone had become a technical historical phenomenon.
       There are a numbers of ways to fail. Expressed differently: it takes a lot to succeed with a new service or device. The technology has to be right. Product launch must happen at the right time. It has to be protected from both cloning, and from others creating something better that can do the same thing. Moreover, it must be user friendly.

    Video, telefax, minitel, Microsoft Kin, Philips VCR, JVC, VHS, Betamix, timeshift, Play, DVD, Blue Ray, Nintendo, France Télècom, aol.com, aftonbladet.se, Metro, Ipad, Rupert Murdoch


    RADIO. Sweden is a “radio nation”. So is the rest of Scandinavia, as is Great Britain, USA, France and Germany. Despite the fact that radio has been around for a long time, radio listening continues in record-breaking numbers in country after country. A key issue for radio is digitalization. There are strong reasons for digitalization but at the same time, the window for digital radio as a technology may already be past. Internet is expanding and taking over.
       But the Internet will never have the same capacity. From a sensible media-ecological perspective, the question could be asked, isn’t it reasonable to utilize broadcast in communication aimed “one-to-many”? Shouldn’t the Internet be reserved for situations demanding “one-on-one” communication?

    Din Gata, weekly radio listening in USA, NPR, BBC, DAB, freestyle, walkman, media devices, apps, cell phone, mobile phone, MP3-player, digital radio, DAB+, analog phase-out deadline, hybrid radio, sms, text message, e-mail, broadcast, DVB T-2, Ingemar Lindqvist, Radio history, William J Baumol, News Corp, Murdoch, The Times, Sky News, credibility, Mad Love, Canal+ Hits, Pew Research, ecology

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