The Reading Room

Andrew Marr joins the digital revolution

BBC Journalist Andrew Marr openly admits that he is “the last of the news romantics” but he recently posted:

“I am on the edge of replacing paper newspapers with electronic versions for my iPad and phone; of accepting that I hardly ever wait for a conventional news bulletin; and of actually reading full-length books…..I think it isn’t long before in news terms, there is hardly any distinction between broadcasting and newspapers. This singularity is almost here. On my iPad, I will follow a political crisis in real time, merging commentators and video clips, a little bit of Nick Robinson here and some Simon Jenkins there.”

But Marr goes onto give a few timely warnings:

“As news ceases to be gathered round the event of a big-guns bulletin, or a wad of Sunday newsprint, it bubbles along and becomes easier, not harder, to disregard…Pasted endlessly on to the screens in trains or shopping malls, news ceases to be the theatre of the real, and becomes muttering walls. Another danger is that it lets unreflective politicians decide that, if broadcasters are no longer “special”, even the BBC can be privatized and broken up.”

But he is clearly optimistic, arguing that “the convergence of moving images, text, sound and archive promises a golden age in how we understand the world”. PS

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