August 2010 Archives

God or Vessel?: Unforeseen Roles in Professional Journalism

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God or Vessel?: Unforeseen Roles in Professional Journalism



Click for full transcript...

Well, there's only one explanation. Obviously I'm a god.

You're not a god.

How else do you explain it? I write things and then they come to life. Yeah, no, I'm definitely a god. A cruel, cruel, capricious god. The things I put you through -- The physical beatings alone.

Yeah, we're still in one piece.

I killed your father. I burned your mother alive. And then you had to go through the whole horrific deal again with Jessica.


All for what? All for the sake of literary symmetry. I toyed with your lives, your emotions, for... entertainment.

You didn't toy with us, Chuck, okay? You didn't create us.

Did you really have to live through the bugs?


What about the ghost ship?

Yes, that too.

I am so sorry. I mean, horror is one thing, but to be forced to live bad writing... if I would have known it was real, I would have done another pass.

Okay, so I fancy me some Supernatural.  If you don't follow allow me to fill you in; it's relevant to our topic. TV drama series Supernatural, edged with spooky hilarity, chronicles the efforts of two brothers to stop the apocalypse while probing at themes of destiny and free will.  In "The Monster at the End of this Book," writer Chuck Shurley finds himself confronted by his characters, Sam and Dean Winchester (the brothers).  Chuck believes Sam and Dean are his sole creation, but soon discovers he is merely a medium for divine prophecy. 

Chuck's conundrum reminded me of the chasm today's journalists face (and also gave new meaning to revision, but that's another blog entirely).  It raises questions about authority and the channeling of information.  Who decides what gets written and with whom it is shared?  The blogosphere is reshaping the confines of traditional journalism. 
 One blogger describes the atmosphere for future journalists as an apocalyptic one.  Print journalism, along with the entire publishing industry, the God-heads of printed word, must now seek alternate ways to distribute information.


According to author Clay Shirky "everyone is a media outlet."  Where does that leave professionals?  As well, what becomes of content in the absence of professional structuring?  


One thing is certain.  You're not a god, Chuck. 


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