The quality of media will survive

An Interview with Mr.Derrick de Kerchove by
Ms Marina Lalovic

Coordinator of the 6thInternational Youth Media Summit

“Print media won’t die”

The future of print media, and journalism as we know it, were among the issues discussed during the last international journalism festival in Perugia. More than one hundred famous journalists from all over the world joined to look into the most successful solutions for the survival of journalism, and above all of print media, which have been declining in the last couple of years.
Arab television, Al Jazeera (which became one of the most famous TV stations in the world over the last years) sees the future of journalism – or at least its revival – in the Creative Commons license. During a debate at the Festival, Moeed Ahmad, head of the New Media department of the station, insisted on fact that some news (in particular those that deal with war issues) must reach as broad an audience as possible. That’s why it is necessary that the public should be given the chance not just to follow but also to share the news – articles with as many people as possible. “Creative Commons” represents the best solution to this end, since it allows everyone to use news reports and place them in any kind of context under just one condition: the logo of the television that has given the first account must appear on the mentioned report.
The role of Facebook during the recent Arab revolts was another major issue discussed at the last international journalism festival.
“Facebook is just a tool, not a goal. And it supposed to remain a tool” commented one the best known journalist of the English version of Al Jazeera, Ayman Mohyeldin. “Don’t just use this internet tool: improve it” added another Al Jazeera journalist, Ahmed Ashoura. However, Facebook represents the main difference between the recent Arab revolutions and the ones that took place in Eastern Europe. “The fight against dictators is over. Now it is necessary to fight back the dictatorship which is deeply engrained, not only in the Arab states”, stated some of the participants of the festival’s round table.
During last year’s festival , Derrick De Kerchove, a sociologist who is one of the world’s most important new media experts and a follower of Marshall McLuhan (the creator of the concepts of mass media and of global village) revealed his passion for traditional media and the necessity that it should survive.
Before the interview we escaped from the confusion of Rome’s central railway station to a small cafe in order to speak quietly about the future of journalism and of how new media might help it survive.
“Journalism won’t disappear. In my opinion a new phenomenon such as a “citizen journalism” can help complete this profession. Quality plays a key role in the survival of journalism in the future”, said De Kerchove.

In your buy flagyl er opinion, will print media survive?

Absolutely. In my opinion web articles are very different from print media articles. These media are not eliminating, but rather completing each other. Basically, books still represent the authority compared to the information which can be found on the internet.
We can divide today’s public into readers and writers. The real readers are just those who daily consult the “real” palpable print media, while I personally consider that those who read news on the internet, are “writers”, because everyone in some way is creating their own news: by hypertext reading and connecting the news, everyone gives out information on their personal opinions. Also in this case, quality represents the only real additional value.

Can I Pads be valid substitutes of press media?

Only partially. We are again talking about the impalpable “disappearing” word and the impossibility of completely maintaining the written information. This is the reason why I think I Pads won’t completely win over the traditional print media. At least, I hope so.

What is the most probable media perspective?

I think that a kind of ”atomization” of journalism will take place, with a great number of small newspapers. The logic of media will change: some of the renowned dailies will be replaced by hundreds of small newspapers.

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has already introduced a charge for the “Wall Street Journal”. Do you agree with this solution for the defense of professional journalism?

I think that for now it is the right solution. Just like we pay for a plane ticket or other services, we are supposed to pay for information on the web . However, adequate ways of paying must still be found. Today it is possible to charge for the news or publish it for free and obtaining funds from advertisement. It is all about different strategies but the fact remains that whoever produces useful information must be paid for this. I‘m not sure what the future will bring about, but I’m quite positive that quality news must be paid for.

Your teacher McLuhan, creator of the theory on mass-media and of the famous “global village”, divided media into hot, such as television, without a direct interaction with users and cool, like the radio that, on the contrary, involves the public. Is this division still valid?

Dividing media into hot and cool is the only concept that I didn’t completely share with McLuhan. I think that today a more adequate division would be between high and low resolution media; the internet being a suitable example of low resolution media.

How much time do you spend on the computer and internet?

Too much!

Do you have a facebook profile?

I have it thanks to other people who created it. Until now I have more than one thousand friends! Unfortunately I don’t have much time for the social media because of my everyday duties.