Shirky on the collapse of newspapers

This is, hands down, the most important piece on the collapse of the newspaper industry that will be written all year:

Clay Shirky succinctly wraps up the last 20+ years of media history in just a few pages and explains how and why the newspaper industry will ultimately disintegrate.

He points to a future for journalism, but admits it will be a messy future, much as the world of information control and dissemination was utterly upended in the 16th century with the application of the printing press.

This piece reminded me of a speech given by Michael Rosenblum at the IMA conference in 2007. I have a whole hour of his storytelling and exhortations to take action on video, but here’s a brief (3:30) clip of just one story of technological innovation:

For those still clinging to news-on-paper notions: prepare your eulogies. Technology transforms society, whether you like it or not. Your horses are dead. The bowmen are here.