The “Anti- Twitter”

This article was originally published in Portuguese on March 18th, 2009 and translated to English on January 14 th, 2011.

Journalism, the way we have had it, won’t last. There is a certain resignation in the shift to the digital. The informed citizen – that, above all, wants, himself, to be informed – reduces himself, to a great extent, to fragmentation; to the online pluralism. He finds himself partially disconnected. This model, as a complement of an attempt of grasping the nowadays, though less reflected, is already a necessity. Far from replacing the integrated knowledge that the opinion article, the dense research report and the long investigation grant.

In a reality where much of the “nowadays” is nothing but an attempt of disinformation, manipulation, appropriation or a vehicle for marketing and propaganda, the necessity of paying attention to the detail is asserted.

The entertaining temptation, the targeted journalism, the active consumers argument encloses the contradiction of a greater sedentariness. The internet becomes, this way, less democratic. By affirming our choices we reach what we already are. The news “in a click” confirms us: it keeps us away.

The written journalism, as a product, can’t be seen exclusively as such: it is what alerts me to what I am not. The only vehicle I have to be aware of what is external to my scant range and attention: power.

The accommodation of the consumer to the lazy format of online newspapers has been leading to an advertising disinvestment, quality decrease and a consequent loss of new readers, emaciation of newsrooms and bankruptcy of countless publications globally.

The relativist, in his constant need of cushioning reality, will say that everything will balance. The market always regulates, like they always wanted to make us believe, despite countless warnings, the endless court of economistic priests. The problem starts here: the market, seen as a giant, absent of human influence. Redundancy.

According to some forecasts, the online format, in a hypothetical reality- closer than we would like to believe – where the physical format disappears, can only support 10% of the costs that the current publications demand. Knowing costs money. It’s seems democracy too.

That’s why I buy a newspaper per day.

Afonso Pimenta

18/03/2009

Translation: Gato Chemistry

Proofreading:  Nuno Miranda Ribeiro

14/01/2011


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