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Visions of Virtual Culture

Mar 23, 2009
By James R. Gaines

A FLYP conversation on Web-inspired identity crises for journalism and art: After the revolution, what will newspapers and museums look like?


 Two readers peruse one of the last editions of the Rocky Mountain News before the newspaper folded. Photo by Doug Collier/Newscom
Two readers peruse one of the last editions of the Rocky Mountain News. Photo by Doug Collier/Newscom

FLYP’s coverage of a New America Foundation symposium on the future of newspapers is part of an ongoing conversation that is becoming ever more animated all around the media world, very much including the web. John Temple, the editor of the Rocky Mountain News, who recently presided over the end of his print edition, speaks with the voice of grim, very personal experience, but his message is neither defeatist nor gloomy, despite all he has just been through.

One astute reader of Temple’s comments wrote: “You could take most of John’s comments, substitute the word ‘museum’ for ‘newspaper’ and the word ‘curator’ for ‘journalist’ and it would be equally true. How can museums and traditional print media learn together how to navigate a future in which services are divorced from traditional sources of income, and users expect to share authority and content development?”

The author of FLYP’s current cover story, David A. Ross, recently moderated a panel discussion on the future of museums with Thelma Golden, director of the Studio Museum in Harlem, Arnold Lehman, director of the Brooklyn Museum, and Claudia Gould, director of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia.

Listen closely to Temple and Ross’s panel discussion—and the FLYP stories behind them—for the thematic threads that connect two of our most important sources of social cohesion and meaning. It is just possible these threads could lead the way the news and culture function in a radically changed world.

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