Thursday, July 05, 2018

Katharine Murphy On Disruption

Greetings from the Australian National University, where Michelle Grattan is asking Katharine Murphy about her new book "On Disruption".

This is a short 121 page, A6 size pocket book, which is very readable. This is a bit Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, being in part a personal reflection on becoming a journalist and part on the nature of political discourse in the age of the Internet. It starts "It was the fag end of summer and I was decked out in a new linen threepiece suit from Sportscraft."

Michelle Grattan asked about the story of the week with Senator Leyonhjelm's comments about Sarah Hanson-Young. Katharine Murphy commented that women have decided not to accept such comments any more.

One question from the audience is where does the money come from. Katharine Murphy replied that The Guardian has a membership scheme, rather than a pay-wall. This is curious as in effect, the for-profit company takes donations like the pay-what you can Lentil as Anything
restaurant in Sydney.

The thesis of the book is that the Internet has "disrupted" journalism, in the same way Uber disrupted taxis. The problem is not knowing where all the information "washing around" the Internet came from "... perhaps someone in a basement in Moldavia".

What I find surprising is that journalists did not realize the Internet was going to disrupt  their business until it happened. Hopefully the academics in the audience are listening, as the Internet is coming to disrupt them.

Last month the "Father of the Internet", Vint Cerf, talked at the Australian National University in Canberra. Australia has had Internet access for thirty years, about ten years after the US development.

No comments: