Monday, October 1, 2012

Middle Men

        Clay Shirky breaks down how we the public are now in more control of news that matters to us than ever. What he’s talking about is the “Middle Man” so to speak. In Shirkys’ head gone are the days where a news outlet and anchor goes out and covers a story from somewhere local because it seems like it’d be of importance. Its really hard to imagine though if you haven’t been in the thick “your” news oneself. “Mass Amateurization” is the public taking hold of what is important to them. For me personally I can attest that I had the reverse.

As the Life & Leisure editor last fall semester I was in charge  what I thought the campus for the most part wanted to see in the generally “light-hearted” section of the paper. I worked tirelessly until midnight on some Monday nights to only then walk to Penn Station at around 1 in the morning. I tried to give even coverage to music, fashion, poems, tips , but the media board public weren’t buying. At the end of the day people were missing the crossword puzzles, and Sudoku’s I had omitted for space. Even though it was something trivial, this is mass amateurization because the public ultimately got what they wanted out of their public newspaper.

Working onr: The Observer: The Public Newspaper of Rutger- Newark is almost like the blog in the piece Instapundit. That, just as ther,The Observer is mass amateurization in itself because its news “for the people by the people” .

Being a writer for The Observer, the school newspaper , at this stage in our Journalism career we the writers are amateur authors. But besides the writers for the paper, there were also editorials sent in. Sometimes anonymous , these letters were  about the type of stories that we were or weren’t covering . In a way this is like fan fiction. It’s a critique and an addition to amateur journalism which leads into mass amateurization. How this developed is by participation because we are a participatory culture. Jenkin’s says in “Why Heather Can Write” that when Harry Potter pandemonium started children, adults, libraries, schools, everyone had to be on it. In this case the students of Rutgers become the paper because they choose what they want in the paper.

The two authors readings put out that there are more ways and steps to become a writer because everyone at this stage generally is. Before a person had to know somebody to get their news out to the public. Now everyone can just make a blog, or have a You Tube channel and relay what they want everyone to know. I do think there is a return to true journalism. One with research and standards. For me its getting a degree and being recognized in publications which more and more “amateurs” seem to have already. Its also the people you know and the tools out there in the world to be taken advantage of. The below picture is of  a page of The Observer that I laid out last semester. The last article is of this fashion blogger I met at last years Fashion’s Night Out named Mario Horne of Leopard Milkshake. Besides the paper being the voice for the campus , this article is special to me because its what I felt like the public should know about; someone from New Jersey who saw a void in a spectrum and decided to fill it himself with media.
From "The Rutgers Observer" photo stream on Facebook

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