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Writing on the Wall: Social Media--The First Two Thousand Years
Social media is anything but a new phenomenon. From the papyrus letters that Cicero and other Roman statesmen used to exchange news, to the hand-printed tracts of the Reformation and the pamphlets that spread propaganda during the American and French revolutions, the ways people shared information with their peers in the past are echoed in the present. After decades of newspapers, radio, and television dominating in dissemination of information, the Internet has spawned a reemergence of social media as a powerful new way for individuals to share information with their friends, driving public discourse in new ways. Standage reminds us how historical social networks have much in common with modern social media. The Catholic Church's dilemmas in responding to Martin Luther's attacks are similar to those of today's large institutions in responding to criticism on the Internet, for example, and seventeenth-century complaints about the distractions of coffeehouses mirror modern concerns about social media. Invoking figures from Thomas Paine to Vinton Cerf, co-inventor of the Internet, Standage explores themes that have long been debated, from the tension between freedom of expression and censorship to social media's role in spurring innovation and fomenting revolution. Writing on the Wall draws on history to cast provocative new light on today's social media and encourages debate and discussion about how we'll communicate in the future.
Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why it Matters Now
An urgent account of the revolution that has upended the news business, written by one of the most accomplished journalists of our timeTechnology has radically altered the news landscape. Once-powerful newspapers have lost their clout or been purchased by owners with particular agendas. Algorithms select which stories we see. The Internet allows consequential revelations, closely guarded secrets, and dangerous misinformation to spread at the speed of a click.In Breaking News, Alan Rusbridger demonstrates how these decisive shifts have occurred, and what they mean for the future of democracy. In the twenty years he spent editing The Guardian, Rusbridger managed the transformation of the progressive British daily into the most visited serious English-language newspaper site in the world. He oversaw an extraordinary run of world-shaking scoops, including the exposure of phone hacking by London tabloids, the Wikileaks release of U.S.diplomatic cables, and later the revelation of Edward Snowden’s National Security Agency files. At the same time, Rusbridger helped The Guardian become a pioneer in Internet journalism, stressing free access and robust interactions with readers. Here, Rusbridger vividly observes the media’s transformation from close range while also offering a vital assessment of the risks and rewards of practicing journalism in a high-impact, high-stress time.
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