It takes a village to be a newspaper

It takes a village to be a newspaper

: In a wonderful comment under a post below, Bala Pillai of pointed to an interview that has an eloquent expression of what news should be — a parallel to Hugh McLeod‘s oft-quoted (by me) contention that newspapers must stop thinking of themselves as things but as places where people come together to do good things. Bala Pillai:

I remember in my village where I grew up in Malaysia. When there was no media there. When we needed to find out what was happening in the neighboring village. Weíd send one of us over. Heíd go over. And talk to the headman. Get the party platform from him. And on his way back he’d go have a haircut at that village’s barber. And there he’d get the grapevine. And between the two versions he narrates to us…See that was media for us that were news….

See what matters most to the village = media ok the reason is this… media used to be equal to community… because what mattered most to community equaled to the community… and what mattered most = media = community, as time went on, specialists creeped in… And in time the agency phenomena took over. Agency phenomena = agents become principals (another e.g. –> govt servants become masters) and thus media diverged from community. Media no more represented community. Nature abhors these divergences. It pushes towards equilibrium. So there was pressure to have facilities to enable this convergence and thus social software and citizen journalism

Beautifully put.

  • Dexter Westbrook

    In my village, we have a name for the practice described above.
    It’s called gossip.
    Citizens media=gossip.
    Great. I can’t wait.

  • Reminds me of how my church decides things. The committee meets, everyone ‘discusses’ things, then they adjourn to consider matters. Everyone gets together out in the parking lot and makes the decisions. Next meeting they vote what they decided out in the parking lot.

  • I’m glad you’ve highlighted Bala’s thinking. He’s active at our Minciu Sodas laboratory for independent thinkers. I’ve become delighted at how he’s always a couple of steps ahead of me, and it takes me time to appreciate the significance of his concerns. For me these include the role of instant messaging in accountability, of outreach through social networking, of visual thinking in a multilingual world, of barter and community currency and exchange in building relationships, and of the obstacles in many cultures to innovation. I wrote a paper on Social Hacking inspired by his behavior: I also alert you to our lab’s plans for leveraging the Public Domain: and for fostering leadership by independent thinkers:

  • I want to add: Another Minciu Sodas lab member who is a couple of steps ahead of me is Shannon Clark, for example, on the role of AI instead of tagging. He’s organizing on the science of social networks, May 1-4 in Chicago. You probably know, but I want to make sure and help get the word out. (And thank you for your graph of eBay classifieds vs. newspaper classifieds – very cool!)

  • Facilitating conversations and empowering individuals to communicate may just be the catalyst for a new wave of innovation from parts of the world that have not been considered hot spots. It is through such mediums at this that the seeds of independent thought are sown. Go Team!