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This news media blog explores the nexus between the press, the public and technology with two missions. One, to engage citizens in an online conversation about the role of the news media in their lives, in the hope that they will use and critique the media more effectively. And secondly to explore how the press can remain relevant, essential and accountable to citizens and communities.

Mike Fancher is Editor at Large of The Seattle Times.

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February 1, 2008 9:00 AM

If Microsoft buys Yahoo, can Googlezon be far off?

Posted by Mike Fancher

Before you do anything else, Press Here to look into the possible future of today's report that Microsoft is bidding to acquire Yahoo.

The link takes you to EPIC 2015, a wonderfully chilling short film that looks back at how the press, as we know it, ceased to exist. A pivotal event anticipated in the film happened in 2008, when Google and Amazon.com join forces to become Googlezon. The rest, as they say, is history.

The film says the News Wars of 2010 were notable for the fact that no actual news organization took part. In 2011, the "slumbering Fourth Estate" fought back in a copyright suit, but the U.S. Supreme ruled in favor of Googlezon and against the New York Times.

On Sunday, March 9, 2014, (the final year in the original version of this film) Googlezon created EPIC, the Evolving Personalized Information Construction. It is a summary of the world, customized for each user. At its best it is "deeper, broader, and more nuanced" than anything before. At its worst it is "a collection of trivia, much of it untrue, all of it narrow, shallow and sensational."

The original film concluded that the success of EPIC pre-empted any meaningful discussion of the media and democracy or journalism ethics. "But perhaps there was another way."

That line is dropped for EPIC 2015, suggesting there wasn't.


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Posted by Prefers Johnny Reddin

7:18 PM, Feb 01, 2008

Is Mike Fancher the worst columnist in Seattle history?


Press here.

Posted by Chris Norred

10:51 PM, Feb 01, 2008

Thanks for the link. It is a good video.
But why the dark tone to your blog? The internet is not the enemy of good journalism. It's only a technology. Perhaps you can offer some constructive ideas on how to make the most of it?

Thank you,
Chris Norred

Posted by spillitu

12:25 PM, Feb 02, 2008

The newspaper industry is in decline because it has a credibility problem and to a much lesser extent, competition from the internet.

Instead of choosing interpretive journalism, the industry needs to wake up and get back to reporting the facts. If an article isn't labeled "opinion" or "editorial" it should report ONLY the facts.

I think that something similar to what is predicted in the film will come to pass because , the newspaper industry prefers influencing events rather than reporting events. People are smarter than you give them credit for. In the long run they will choose internet sources that prove to be factually reliable.

Posted by peter

2:54 PM, Feb 02, 2008

The video is incredible, above all understanding that it was created many years ago. I don't think the authors expected anticipating that reality would mimic their fantasy so much.

Mike, I don't think that EPIC 2015 suggests there isn't another way. But many news organizations have been struggling for more than a decade with being creative and proactive enough to *show* that other way. There's a kind of self-indulgence, isolation and vain entitlement that floats around in most newsrooms and you know that.

To me EPIC 2015 is provocative. Seeing it makes me embrace all the good that a new way of doing things can bring, and at the same time it makes me want to 'DO' something towards that 'other way.'

I'm passionate about the absolute need to preserve journalism at the core of democracy and a better world. I'm optimistic that journalism will remain and only become stronger. I'm anxious to see news organizations move faster, stop dismissing technology, broaden their idea of inclusiveness and dramatically get out of their comfort zone.

And tomorrow may be too late... that's what I hear EPIC 2015 saying out loud.

Posted by peter

3:03 PM, Feb 02, 2008

spillitu
News organizations *are* internet sources and have been for many years now.

I agree. People, we, are smart. That's why news organizations will remain.

Posted by Ryan

8:12 AM, Feb 03, 2008

That video is very scary.

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