Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fifth Estate

You Say You Want a Revolution

“It’s not often that you are aware of a revolution while you are in the midst of it, but we are. It’s certainly not that journalism is dying, only that delivery systems and public habits are changing. NPR used to be just radio, but they recognize that to stay relevant they have to go where people are. They have to be on the Internet, the iPad, the iPod, the MP3 player, the Droid. And on whatever else is coming....

“The traditional Fourth Estate is getting smaller, but there’s no end in sight for the so-called Fifth Estate—citizen journalists. But they are blurring the definition of journalism, and blurring the line between fact and opinion.

“Since we are in the middle of a revolution, no one can really see the end. Anyone who says they do is lying. But one thing I'm certain of is that, over time, it will be the trusted sources that will endure.”

—Alicia C. Shepard, ombudsman, National Public Radio,
at Morris Media & Society Lecture, Utah State University, Oct. 5, 2010

Editor’s Note: Sixth Estate: Smart phone that talks to itself.

Fall in the Wellsvilles

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  1. In my JCOM class I learned about the libertarian theory, which emphasizes on truth. Some of its main points are "truth is refined" or "truth with a capital T". The truth will prevail in the end and it has so far. The thought that I'm part of a revolution did not cross my mind at all although it is pretty cool. I feel blessed that I'm part of a generation that has access to so much technology but also cursed since the media is dominating all our lives. The truth is more powerful then the media; it just takes some time to appear on the surface.

    Romina Nedakovic

  2. I'm so glad I was able to come by and hear Alicia Shepard speak yesterday at the performance hall. Advice that I took to heart regarding social media: "think before hitting send," and "the mic is always on." Also significant to me, her comments about an emerging fifth estate: citizen journalists. The times, they are a-changing. She said that within four years there would be more people with mobile phones than those with desktop computers. As a side note, her comment about being a speaker in the online news association event in Washington DC at the end of the month makes me wonder if she'll be stopping by the Rally to Restore Sanity.

  3. I'm terribly upset I wasn't able to catch the speech she gave, it seems like something I would have been able to relate to. I've read the comments section on the bottom of her report (, though, and people bring up a lot of good points. One of the questions posed was about lightening up *dulling* information to attract a higher amount of listeners in the less intellectual crowd, but NPR (talk radio as a whole) has always been known as an outlet for those who want to keep the radio in the car on, but don't want to listen to the Lil Waynes and Lady Gagas out there. I appreciate the fact that they, along with other stations, are keeping up with the ever-changing curve that is our intake method. Keep it up!

  4. I kind of left an incomplete thought there, sorry about that. I was going to continue that because they're known as a more intellectual listening, dulling down would defeat the purpose of the station and would become a slippery slope until we're subject to 5th grader information. I can safely say I feel smarter than a 5th grader, so PLEASE don't crank down the valuable content thermostat!!

  5. I thought it was interesting that the Fed is not audited, and that Alica's Is really in-charge of bashing on NPR and she works for them.