Starting this summer, I’ll be leading a series of talks for the Oregon Humanities Conversation Project, a kick-ass initiative that sparks interesting cultural conversations around the state. Here’s the elevator pitch:
Two years after Clay Shirky predicted that "every town in this country of 500,000 or less" was likely to "sink into casual, endemic, civic corruption" fostered by the death of local newspapers, what’s the score? The continuing collapse of the media sequoias has created openings into which small-scale innovators, from MyEugene to BikePortland, are sprouting. But tomorrow’s news outlets, whose audiences and incentives are dramatically different than yesterday’s, will put new pressures on local civic culture.
"Old forest, new trees: Oregon’s new economics of local information" will use a hands-on exercise to explore the forces behind the shift from mass to niche media; sketch case studies from innovators around Oregon and the country; and highlight a key social problem faced by the new news media – the deep and growing asymmetry of information between rich and poor.
TOTALLY FUN, amirite? All my presentations, research and appearance schedule will be posted here on the blog, so expect to start hearing more around midsummer.
(Road-trip photo by Nicholas_T.)