The age of diversification

I just blogged about this briefly (in my Matthew Robson post), but the death of Walter Cronkite this week gives historical context to the diversification trend. As CBS/CNET technology analyst Larry Magid points out, it’s not just teens whose tools for socializing, communicating, news-gathering, media-sharing, and entertainment are diversifying. He recalls a time when the nightly news on broadcast TV was how a huge swath of the population stayed informed and all ended up talking about the top stories the next day. Both the media and their distribution platforms and channels have multiplied so much that can’t possibly all be seeing and talking about the same stories (except maybe those of celebrities?). We’re inundated by information, misinformation, media, and devices, which means that new media literacy – the mental filter for what’s being uploaded and produced as much as downloaded and consumed – is needed more now than ever before in history. “Kids – who may never even know who Walter Cronkite was – need to have a miniature version of him inside their head by asking questions such as ‘Is this true?’ and ‘How do I know it’s true?” writes Larry, who is also my co-director at ConnectSafely.org, adding: “And when they’re about to post, they need to think carefully before they broadcast their own versions of “the way it is’.”


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