Julia Allison on Staying Off the Grid

Question: Is it still possible to be a journalist and not be constantly connected?

Julia Allison: It is possible to stay off the grid, but I would recommend that you get a job that has nothing to do with communicating with other people. Because quite frankly, I mean, part of me, I do sometimes feel sorry that the career I chose journalism is if you’re a journalist and you want to stay off the grid, you’re screwed. You are absolutely screwed, like, goodbye. You might as well just, you might as well start working in healthcare because it’s just, it’s not going to happen for you. And there are a lot of exciting things happening with it, but, I mean, for example, Tina Brown’s Daily Beast best example of what the future of journalism is that I have ever seen. It is like a shining light in journalism, in my opinion. And it is what you’re going to see with that site. Mark my words, three years from now, everyone’s going to be like the Daily Beast that is what journalism is now. It’s going to be the new New York Times. It’s frightening to think about it, but that is just the truth. If you’re shy, listen, you learn to adapt privacy-wise. I have learned to adapt privacy-wise. I know now what to keep off and what to put on. I made a lot of mistakes when I first started. That is going to happen to everyone. I’m a canary in a gold mine as it were, and what will happen is that there will be a whole host of people, the frontline that will make all these mistakes and other people will learn from them and it won’t be perfect. But, you know, there will come a point and there is a very interesting book by Clay Shirky, I think you probably have interviewed here, I’m guessing. He talks about the gap between when technology is invented and when it’s completely integrated in the society, and that gap, there’s chaos, which is why we decided to name our company Non-Society, because we realized, Meghan, Mary and myself realized that we were on the frontline that there weren’t any rule. Society, the word society means rules by which you interact with other people, and we realized there were no rules for this medium. People are [assholes] on it and they think that that’s okay, because it’s, you know, I mean, people said it’s the Wild West out there. I wish there are less hackneyed term but that’s really what it’s like.

Julia Allison endorses the Daily Beast as the "new New York Times."

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