Though by the reputation given me by others, I’m supposed to be disagreeable, twice today, I’ve disappointed big, old media people by not disagreeing enough.
Business Week wanted a debate over the fate of print with me supposed to take the side that print is doomed while Chris Tolles of Topix was supposed to argue that it isn’t. But it turns out that we agreed too much and so they took out my first lines (though I put them back). Chris says that digital will lead the way. I agree:
Whether or not print dies, its business model will. Physical wares—newspapers, books, magazines, discs—will no longer be the primary or most profitable means of delivering and interacting with media: news, fact, entertainment, or education. It’s not that print is bad. It’s that digital is better.
And this morning, I appeared on the CBS Morning Show in a segment with Andi Silverman, author of Mama Knows Breast, about a dustup caused when Facebook took down photos of women breastfeeding. The producers were looking for disagreement, but they knew going in that we wouldn’t be arguing. Andi defended breastfeeding as hardly indecent and I said we have to stop paying attention just to complainers or we’ll end up in a media world in which anything that could offend will be banned – and most everything can offend someone.
You’d think these would be happy endings to discussions: agreement found, consensus gained. But that doesn’t fit the format. I like this as a new form of contrariness: not being contrary and agreeing – nodding as the new act of subversion.
: LATER: Chris Tolles, too, added back in notes of agreement to his side of the debate. Group hug.