The Rise of "Found" Media

Alissa Quart’s editorial in the Columbia Journalism Review compares “Lost Media” (magazines, newspapers) with “Found Media” (blogs, Web efforts, etc.), and how different generations interpret journalism’s current standing:

Right now, journalism is more or less divided into two camps, which I will call Lost Media and Found Media. I went to the Nieman conference partially because I wanted to see how the forces creating this new division are affecting and afflicting the Lost Media world that I love best, not on the institutional level, but for reporters and writers themselves.

To be a Found Media journalist or pundit, one need not be elite, expert, or trained; one must simply produce punchy intellectual property that is in conversation with groups of other citizens. Found Media-ites don’t tend to go to editors for approval, but rather to their readers and to their blog community. In many cases, they disdain the old models, particularly newspapers, which they see as having calcified over the decades, and, according to generally youthful Found Media logic, in deep need of a re-think, using all of youth’s advantages: time and the ability to instantly summon a crowd. For Found Media’s young journalists and bloggers, the attitude toward our craft tends not to be one of mourning for the ashram gone. Rather, it is of not needing a guru at all.

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