Friday, April 15, 2005

Rupert Murdoch is a "digital immigrant"

Rupert Murdoch heads up News Corporation, one of the largest media corporations in the world. On Wednesday he gave a speech to US newspaper editors at a conference in Washington. The text of the speech is here.

Murdoch has adopted the terms "digital immigrants" and "digital natives" that George, Cathy and I now use when talking about generational differences in our presentations. We got the terms and definitions from John Beck who co-wrote Got Game. Perhaps Mr. Murdoch has read this book too. Or perhaps he read Marc Prensky who seems to have been the guy who first published something using the terms.

Murdoch had this to say:
"Scarcely a day goes by without some claim that new technologies are fast writing newsprint’s obituary. Yet, as an industry, many of us have been remarkably, unaccountably complacent. [...] I come to this discussion not as an expert with all the answers, but as someone searching for answers to an emerging medium that is not my native language. Like many of you in this room, I’m a digital immigrant. I wasn’t weaned on the web, nor coddled on a computer. Instead, I grew up in a highly centralized world where news and information were tightly controlled by a few editors, who deemed to tell us what we could and should know. My two young daughters, on the other hand, will be digital natives. They’ll never know a world without ubiquitous broadband internet access.

The peculiar challenge then, is for us digital immigrants – many of whom are in positions to determine how news is assembled and disseminated -- to apply a digital mindset to a new set of challenges.

We need to realize that the next generation of people accessing news and information, whether from newspapers or any other source, have a different set of expectations about the kind of news they will get, including when and how they will get it, where they will get it from, and who they will get it from."

Could be a librarian talking about challenges in our world, couldn't it?

More coverage of the speech here and here and here

The last link was to commentary by Jeff Jarvis, an experienced journalist and media watcher. Read the comments too to this post and read 1. Find sand. 2. Dig hole. 3. Insert head and the comments. Read A New Model for LOCAL NEWSPAPERS and read those comments too.Substitute the word "editors" with "librarians", and "newspaper" for "library" and see if any of this sounds familiar.

Good stuff. Food for thought. Somebody invite Mr. Jarvis to speak to librarians.

No comments: