Archive for August 7th, 2009

Alternative Journalistic Models

John writes, “Technology has so dramatically decreased the lag-time between one person knowing something and everyone knowing it (Brown himself has a joke about re-tweets counting as plagiarism), that I wonder if ‘breaking a story’ is eventually going to be one of those outdated achievements….”  This is an interesting question, but I think just as interesting of a question is if the net amount of journalistic information available will decrease as the result of aggregation, blogging, and other technological developments. We already are seeing newspapers, magazines, and other news organizations cutting back on foreign correspondents and new hires. But, this doesn’t necessarily indicate that, in the long-run, less information will be available. It may simply be provided through a different means. The journalistic model will change. Here are four possible alternatives to the current model for information gathering*:
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(Some) Things Fall Apart

Bill Simmons has offered a much more negative (and more succinct) review of Funny People on Twitter. And while I disagree with him about this particular film, he has set off an interesting debate on Twitter about the concept of movies that “fell apart.”

Now, as is inevitable in a democratic debate forum like Twitter, this has devolved into people ranting (can 140 characters be a rant?) about movies they don’t like.

The original concept, however, is intriguing. Let me outline what I think it takes for a movie to Fall Apart: 1) The movie had to be on track for greatness. The first half, or two thirds, or three-quarters of the film have to not only be good, or better than the second half, but excellent (this rules out Funny People from the get-go). A film can only “Fall Apart” if it has gotten your hopes high with a great start. 2) The final act has to not only go awry, but fail so spectacularly that it tarnishes the initial greatness. In other words, you can’t appreciate the good stuff in the movie because the ending was so bad.

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