It was bound to happen. If you think or write about new media long enough, you’re bound to run into Jeff Jarvis, and his blog, BuzzMachine – particularly with all that ‘buzz’ he’s been getting lately.
The difficulty I have with Jarvis’ approach to media has nothing to do with the eroding foundations of the venerated journalistic tradition, but rather his approach to the look and feel of a new newsmedia world.
My main objection to Jarvis’ approach to media is that he collaborates with the owners of corporate media outlets to help them cut their workers’ jobs. Look, this is a guy that deifies the corporate giant Google (his next book is called What Would Google Do?), and that pretty much sets the tone for how he approaches changes in media production. The transition from broadcast centralized media to a link economy does offer incredible opportunities for the development of new knowledge economies, but organizing the transition within the corporate system just lets the folks that ran old media to continue profiting and puts lots of smart folks out of a job. (Google isn’t exactly this, but it does wield an immense amount of power, and I find it irresponsible to commit yourself blindly to its authority)
Treating the workers in a new media economy ethically is the first step to making sure that the new economy supports a more ethical world broadly, and I think any discussion of the creation of new media should consider the role of labor creating content, as well as the content itself. Jarvis seems primarily concerned with the owners and content, and that troubles me.