Radio & Television News Association

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Indispensable Old Media

New media is great, but the continued killings of old-school investigative reporters prove their work is crucial.
By Susan D. Moeller and Moisés Naím
October 10, 2006

OVER THE WEEKEND, at almost the same time that the world was informed that Google was vying to pay $1.65 billion for YouTube, a 2-year-old video-sharing website, famed Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya was gunned down in Moscow. Politkovskaya covered human rights abuses in Chechnya. She was also a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, and Russian authorities consider her death a political assassination.

YouTube's acquisition and Politkovskaya's killing are unrelated events. Yet both offer powerful clues about the forces shaping the way information is produced, distributed and consumed in today's world. YouTube epitomizes "new media" — their immense potential and surprising effects. Politkovskaya represents "old media" — their literal struggle for survival and also their historical, indeed indispensable, value.

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