Fifteen of Germany’s most prolific bloggers have stirred up quite the hornet’s nest by releasing what they are calling “The Internet Manifesto. How journalism works today. Seventeen declarations.” Â According to TechCrunch Europe,Â just hours after the release, servers got slammed by an onslaught of visitors and the site shuttered. The instant attention it gained was a magnificent example of how powerful a medium the Internet can be. The manifesto appears to be a direct shot across the bow of traditional media and aims to further challenge news and media outlets to adapt or change the way they think about this brave new world. I found the second tenet of the manifesto most interesting. It says,
2. The Internet is a pocket-sized media empire.
The web rearranges existing media structures by transcending their former boundaries and oligopolies. The publication and dissemination of media contents are no longer tied to heavy investments. Journalism’s self-conception is-fortunately-being cured of its gatekeeping function. All that remains is the journalistic quality through which journalism distinguishes itself from mere publication.”
In other words, journalism is becoming less a platform for making money, and more a platform for spreading ideas, information and news. This implies that the days of paying for your news and information are slowly winding down. The manifesto has thus far been translated into nine languages and will continue to spread on the Internet. This puts the concept of journalism on the world stage where people of different cultures can take part. Where else can you do that? And you can expect traditional pulp based news to carry the story in addition, gaining even more momentum. In Europe, it’s already shown up in ink of the non-digital ilk. When was the last time some copywriting gained the attention of the entire world? OK, maybe The Bible falls into that category, but even that took a few thousand years to get take hold.