Andrew Keen’s book The Cult of The Amateur has turned him in to the arch-sceptic of the Internet. But his Independent column reminds us that he was himself an Internet entrepreneur who knows about this stuff. It’s just that he interprets its cultural effects differently to most Web 2.0 enthusiasts.
So it’s no surprise that his review of my book SuperMedia is pretty accurate, albeit, with a hint of a raised eyebrow:
“We have between five and 10 years to save journalism. That’s the stark message in SuperMedia: Saving Journalism So It Can Save The World (Blackwell) the provocative new book by Charlie Beckett, the founding director of POLIS, the London School of Economics based think tank about journalism and society. For evidence of the imminent death of journalism, Beckett points to the decline of the newspaper industry, the concentration of media ownership, the increasing domination of the internet by Google bosses and Chinese politicians, as well as the rise of anti-democratic forces such as the Russian mafia and Islamic extremists.
So can journalism be saved? According to Beckett, this can be achieved by something called “networked journalism”. Journalists, he tells us, need to use all the latest collaborative and open-source tools of the Web 2.0 revolution – from blogs, wikis and social networks to the virtual republic of Second Life – to make their work more relevant and accessible to an engaged public. That will save journalism. And then, Beckett confidently assures us, journalism will go on to save the world.”
I think my only quibble with that description would be the word ‘confidently’.