Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Epic 2014

One of our class assignments for last week was to watch a video online called "Epic 2014," which poses idea that by the year 2014, Google will be attempting to take over all major media and The New York Times will have to shut down their website in protest. Google will create a massive "Big Brother" sort of system that will monitor every single news outlet that is online in the world and then reconstruct the stories to make their own, all done by a computer.

It's an interesting idea, but seems pretty unlikely. In the video, The New York Times sues Google for poaching their stories, but the Supreme Court upholds Google's right to have their own system of stories. I can't really see the Supreme Court upholding a software that exists only in the web. If it's a computer that is making the stories than it has no rights, because there is no one on the other end making the stories.

This video is also interesting because it analyzes the downfall of print journalism and insists that by the year 2014, the only way people will really be getting their news is from Google's search engine. While Google makes things a lot simpler and you can narrow down the news you want to hear, I think most people would remain loyal to the outlets they have always gone to. The video also says that The New York Times would become a small paper for the elite and stubborn who refuse to change. The Times is probably the most reputable news source in the world, and I can't see people just forgetting that because a computer takes stories from all over the world. There is no fact checking and Google would just be printing stories as it sees them. That's not journalism, that's gossip. That sort of "reporting" might be good for entertainment news, but it wouldn't fly for real, important news.

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