The paper is focused on the cultural consequences of a new technological opportunity in mass communication. The Internet has given two billion people a technical means of authorship. It is a real explosion of authorship: In all previous history of mankind there, probably, have been about 200-300 million authors. The emancipation of authorship explains (better than technological innovations) all other changes in the public life, connected with the new communicative environment. The new environment, in which any person from the audience can be an author, develops its own mechanism for creating public significance. The paper describes the structure and functioning of this mechanism, named the Viral Editor, as a ubiquitous and dispersed creature of the Internet which consists of people-users who all now have gotten rights to compose, edit and spread any facts and opinions in any form and shape.
Keywords: emancipation of authorship, self-publishing audience, man as media, death of newspapers, Viral Editor
Published in: Journalism and Mass Communication Volume 2, Number 2, February 2012 (Serial Number 5). David Publishing Company. www.davidpublishing.com
The death of the print press is predetermined by multimedia technologies; the agony is likely to begin in the late 2010s with the crash of the distribution system and finish when the Last Newspaper Generation passes away. The print press has almost 20 years to exist before it disappears.
Karl Marx once wrote that for a 300% profit there is no crime a capitalist would not commit. Recent events surrounding The News of the World show that a similar sort of greed is also characteristic of journalists: they will readily break the law for the sake of information. In the case of Murdoch’s paper, perhaps the literal meaning of Marx’s assertion could also be applied. Was the law broken to get at the story, or to get at the profit made by selling it? It is hard to know for sure.