Jay Rosen on How To Digest News
Jay Rosen teaches Journalism at New York University, where has been on the faculty since 1986. He is the author of PressThink, a weblog about journalism and its ordeals, which he introduced in September 2003. In June 2005, PressThink won the Reporters Without Borders 2005 Freedom Blog award for outstanding defense of free expression. In July 2006 he announced the debut NewAssignment.Net, his experimental site for pro-am, open source reporting projects. The first one was called Assignment Zero, a collaboration with Wired.com. A second project is OfftheBus.Net with the Huffington Post.
Question: How is it possible to wade through so much news these days?
Jay Rosen: Well, this is a profound question because news today exists in a climate of abundant, whereas before it was sort of a scarcity model. And what I do is follow certain people and blogs and sites that are actually monitoring a much wider range of sources than I am. And so I delegate the work of finding the important news to expert filters, intelligent people who are doing just that, because this is a basic way of creating value on the net. So people who ask me all the time about information overload and isn’t it all too much and, oh, you know, this new age of information is turning to a disaster, and I meet with this kind of hysteria all the time, but actually, if you know who to follow and you know where to look, you can easily profit and benefit from this abundance because the tools for organizing information follow right behind the explosion of information that the net represents.
Question: Should online news aggregators take credit for breaking news?
Jay Rosen: Well, the example you gave was actually someone giving credit to an aggregator for something that appeared at that site, maybe they shouldn’t do that. But, let’s go back to what an aggregator is? What is [Matt Drudge]? What is the drudge report? It’s simply a guy in his apartment finding first new reports to have been posted on the web and collecting those that would be interesting to his audience in one place, that’s all his doing, scanning the web for what’s new and different and interesting. Now, this is something that if the major news media has decided to specialist in it, they could have been very good at from the beginning. They choose not to do that. Why? Because in order to be [Matt Drudge] or the [Huffington Post] or real clear politics or any number of bloggers who link constantly this stuff, you have to do exactly that, send people away from your site, transport them to another domain and the news industry which moans about aggregation didn’t want to develop that art and chose not to. And in fact to this day, most of the major news site don’t link out very often or very [willingly]. So don’t complaint about the drudge if you decided to turn down the art of aggregation and don’t bitch and moan about Google News if you don’t understand how it works and why it’s really a boon for you to be send all that traffic.
Recorded on: 08/19/2008
The NYU Journalism critic on how to digest all the news that prints online.
Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.
- Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
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If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx a team of DNA sequencers has figured that out.
- A team at UMass Amherst recently sequenced the genome of the Canadian lynx.
- It's part of a project intending to sequence the genome of every vertebrate in the world.
- Conservationists interested in the Canadian lynx have a new tool to work with.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx, I can now—as of this month—point you directly to the DNA of a Canadian lynx, and say, "That's what makes a lynx a lynx." The genome was sequenced by a team at UMass Amherst, and it's one of 15 animals whose genomes have been sequenced by the Vertebrate Genomes Project, whose stated goal is to sequence the genome of all 66,000 vertebrate species in the world.
Sequencing the genome of a particular species of an animal is important in terms of preserving genetic diversity. Future generations don't necessarily have to worry about our memory of the Canadian Lynx warping the way hearsay warped perception a long time ago.
Artwork: Guillaume le Clerc / Wikimedia Commons
13th-century fantastical depiction of an elephant.
It is easy to see how one can look at 66,000 genomic sequences stored away as being the analogous equivalent of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It is a potential tool for future conservationists.
But what are the practicalities of sequencing the genome of a lynx beyond engaging with broad bioethical questions? As the animal's habitat shrinks and Earth warms, the Canadian lynx is demonstrating less genetic diversity. Cross-breeding with bobcats in some portions of the lynx's habitat also represents a challenge to the lynx's genetic makeup. The two themselves are also linked: warming climates could drive Canadian lynxes to cross-breed with bobcats.
John Organ, chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cooperative Fish and Wildlife units, said to MassLive that the results of the sequencing "can help us look at land conservation strategies to help maintain lynx on the landscape."
What does DNA have to do with land conservation strategies? Consider the fact that the food found in a landscape, the toxins found in a landscape, or the exposure to drugs can have an impact on genetic activity. That potential change can be transmitted down the generative line. If you know exactly how a lynx's DNA is impacted by something, then the environment they occupy can be fine-tuned to meet the needs of the lynx and any other creature that happens to inhabit that particular portion of the earth.
Given that the Trump administration is considering withdrawing protection for the Canadian lynx, a move that caught scientists by surprise, it is worth having as much information on hand as possible for those who have an interest in preserving the health of this creature—all the way down to the building blocks of a lynx's life.
The exploding popularity of the keto diet puts a less used veggie into the spotlight.
- The cauliflower is a vegetable of choice if you're on the keto diet.
- The plant is low in carbs and can replace potatoes, rice and pasta.
- It can be eaten both raw and cooked for different benefits.
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