En un largo y bien documentado post en el que Dean Starkman critica la visión y la forma de actuar de los que él llama “FON” (por Future of News, con gente como Jeff Jarvis, Clay Shirky, Jay Rosen, etc), hace una comparación entre la rutina de los periodistas off y online.
Los FON critican la esclavitud de los periodistas del siglo XX a la rutina del papel de “reproducir el mundo cada 24 horas”. Entonces el autor dice:
The irony, though, is that in the second decade of the twenty-first century—thanks in no small part to FON thinkers, including, sad to say, Rosen—journalism is now enslaved to a new system of production. Publishing is now possible all the time and in limitless amounts, forever and ever, amen. And, given the market system, and the way the world is, that which is possible has quickly become imperative. Suddenly, the “god” of the old twenty-four-hour news cycle looks like lovely Aphrodite compared to the remorseless Ares that is the web “production routine.” And this new enslavement—trust me here—hurts readers far more even than it does the reporters who must do the blogging, tweeting, podcasting, commenting, and word-cloud formation until all hours of the day and night. This is why, IMHO, journalism is great these days at incremental news, not so good at stepping back and grabbing hold of the narrative. In some circles, this is frowned upon.
The cruel truth of the emerging networked news environment is that reporters are as disempowered as they have ever been, writing more often, under more pressure, with less autonomy, about more trivial things than under the previous monopolistic regime. Indeed, if one were looking for ways to undermine reporters in their work, FON ideas would be a good place to start:
• Remind them, as often as possible, that what they do is nothing special and is basically a commodity.
• Require them to spend a portion of their workday marketing and branding themselves and figuring out their business model.
• Require that they keep in touch with you via Twitter and FB constantly instead of reporting and writing.
• Prematurely bury/trash institutional news organizations.
• Promote a vague faith in volunteerism.
• Describe long-form writing as an affectation or even a form of oppression; that way no one will ever have time to lay out evidence gathered during extensive reporting. Great for crooks, too.
Está claro que las habilidades de uno y otro medio no son siempre las mismas. Sin embargo, la verdad no es tan cruel. No todos los medios on-line son agregadores. Los gringos siempre dan el caso de ProPublica, y en Chile tenemos a Ciper.
Sin embargo, la realidad demuestra que sí: que, tal como dice el mismo autor, quizás porque estemos pensando demasiado que las noticias son un commodity (y por lo tanto quienes las producen también) que se esté transformando en realidad.