Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Who Is Paying For Content?

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on February 23, 2013

Geneva Overholser,  Professor and Director of the USC School of Journalism said that we, the consumers, have to pay for content we do not agree with. We have to stop reading what we know. So agreed, Kai Ryssdal, host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy. As far as I understand human nature, this is not likely to happen. Paying for content that goes against our grain seems so far from our basic motivation to agree with ourselves; our basic tendency to stay put, both physically and mentally. As someone who loves newspapers, I am saddened by this development, although I do appreciate the internet for so many things, this is not one of them. The loss of print journalism is going to change how much we expand our perspectives on the world. Professor Overholser, I respectfully disagree.

6 Responses to “Who Is Paying For Content?”

  1. Ashana M said

    But we also have an innate curiosity about the world. Most animals sleep when they are bored. We start looking for something to do. I think there is hope. We also have a conscious mind, aware of the need to correct for the inadequacies of our reflexive responses. If we can learn to become tolerant of others through conscious effort or become aware of unintentional racism because we understand that it is wrong, then I think we can begin to appreciate (and pay for) diverse viewpoints because we understand that it is important.

    • I agree that we have innate curiosity, but I think the internet will satiate that, for little or no money. Let’s see how this plays out and then compare notes. These rapid technological changes are impacting so many areas of our lives, for good and for ill. It is hard to predict who will thrive and who will suffer, but it is interesting to play with projections in order to try to understand how technology interfaces with the human condition. Thanks again.

  2. Jon said

    We have to pay for content we do not agree with? Perhaps. We have to stop reading what we know? I doubt it. That is how it was phase in your first two sentences. Going beyond that, we should read outside of our comfort zone. Definitely. As Ashana points out, that is one way in which we can satisfy our innate curiosity.

    Now, will the internet replace print journalism? It may be a case of self-deception, but I think not. Movies did not replace play. Television did not replace movies. While it is true that paper did indeed papyrus and more modern telecommunications did replace the telegraph, magazines did not replace books. The internet makes it possible to inexpensively make available many types of content; however, I do not think internet will become the only place for content.

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