My recommendation of Bud Guthrie’s Field Guide to Writing Fiction (right column, under Books) did not arise out of whim. Unless you use your computer strictly for, say, logartihmic calculations, you are writing. Now that anyone on the web can decide to be a journalist, editor and publisher, writing with clarity and simplicity is more important than ever. (Don’t do as I do, do as I say.) That responsbility came to mind again today as I was reading Jay Rosen, a professor, gadfly and multiblogger from New York University who has been a conscience of journalism for twenty years. Rosen captured me with the introduction to his blog:
We need to keep the press from being absorbed into The Media. This means keeping the word press, which is antiquated. But included under its modern umbrella should be all who do the serious work in journalism, regardless of the technology used. The people who will invent the next press in America–and who are doing it now online–continue an experiment at least 250 years old.
Here is some of what Rosen wrote a year and a half ago in a blog piece called Journalism Itself Is A Religion.
We’re headed, I think, for schism, tumult and divide as the religion of the American press meets the upheavals in global politics and public media that are well underway. Changing around us are the terms on which authority can be established by journalists. The Net is opening things up, shifting the power to publish around. Consumers are becoming producers, readers can be writers.
To read all of Rosen’s long essay, go here, and then go here.
I am adding Rosen’s PressThink to the Other Places list in the right-hand column.