Prophets, wise men, fools and felons

The New York Times columnist David Carr gave a talk at the University of Texas School of Journalism and was introduced as a reporter who has ventured to the borders, the coastlines and the cliffs to meet society’s prophets, wise men, fools and felons.

In the auditorium crammed with students , I confess it was a bit of a shock to be back among so much nubile flesh and pneumatic grace in such close confines. I’m not sure how I managed those two years of graduate school and vague, half-suppressed memories of never-ending yearning still linger.

Carr said one reason journalism is undergoing such tumultuous change is because it’s business model was constructed to appeal to a population that married, reproduced, wanted to know where to send its kids to school and was happy to pay for information.

Now, people aren’t getting married, are choosing to hook up while not reproducing and don’t want to pay for any information because there’s so much of it.

But he pointed out how now the problem arises whereby you end up not knowing how you know what you know–your brain can only handle so much info-load.

So there’s still, more than ever, a need to have an entity indicate what matters among the bombardment of news.

“What defines you is how you treat the lowest among us,” Carr said. “Journalism has always been about social justice.”

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