A lot of people have been linking to the new issue of Nieman Reports, a special issue titled “Goodbye Gutenberg” and about the transformations happening in newspaper journalism and the rush to digital.
There’s a lot to get through, but a good place to start is the introduction to Journalism and Web 2.0 by Francis Pisani. It begins with a summary of the always-controversial discussion of what “2.0″ actually means, and then admonishes journalists to take note of these developments even if they can’t see the immediate relevance to their craft as it is traditionally understood:
Change starts at the edges. That’s where people—our readers and viewers—probe new practices. That’s also where their emerging culture is forming, a culture in which they look at media from a different perspective. And so journalists’ new thinking needs to begin at the periphery, where change comes quickly among the younger generation of users, and a lot more slowly for us. Tomorrow’s potential readers are using the Web in ways we can hardly imagine, and if we want to remain significant for them, we need to understand how. Yet news organizations have been all too slow to notice movement in places that are away from what has been their center.
In remarkably few words, Pisani runs through the effect on traditional media being caused by the ideas underlying Google, Craigslist, Wikipedia, Digg, Newsvine, and news mashups like ChicagoCrime.org. Blogging, citizen journalism and RSS are covered, too. It’s an invaluable crash-course introduction.