Jeff Jarvis Explores the Role of the Internet and Social Media in Modern News Gathering

In this ever-increasing technological era, it’s surprising to find anyone that hasn’t heard of Twitter and its simple and convenient way to send quick messages in 140 characters. Jeff Pulver, an Internet entrepreneur and the co-founder of Vonage, has taken this convenience to the next level with his 140 conference, also known in the Twitter world as #140conf. Since 2009, #140conf has been held in towns and cities all over the world where guest speakers are allotted 10 to 15 minutes to get their point across.

2012 #140conf

The 2012 #140conf, which started on June 19th, is a 2-day event held at the 92ndStreet Y (92Y) in New York City. A notable speaker appeared on the

English: Jeff Jarvis at DLD Conference.

English: Jeff Jarvis at DLD Conference. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

first day of the event and gave an interesting and amusingly humorous speech regarding the evolutionary changes and professional challenges many journalists are facing these days because of the rise of the digital platform.  Jeff Jarvis, a journalist, former television critic for TV Guide and People magazines, and one of the creators of Entertainment Weekly, gave the audience a riveting presentation as he explained that article creation and journalism are not dying, but merely evolving to fit the paradigm of the Internet.

Jarvis discusses some reactions to his views on how journalism and the presentation of news have evolved over the past decade or so due to the Digital Age.

 “The article is a luxury,” Jarvis said. “Now they thought that meant that it’s not needed. No; the article is a precious thing. It takes a lot of money and effort and time to make an article.  The article is the byproduct of the process of news.”

In his presentation, Jarvis compared the evolution of digital media, social networking and news gathering over the past few decades to the impact that the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg had in the 15th Century.

 “I did research back to Gutenberg believing that the press really gives us a lot of lessons about what’s going to happen now, with our world now. One thing I found out was that when the book came out it scared people to death just like the Internet does today. It scared them because it changed how they see the world.”

Jarvis’ comments on Gutenberg and the impact of the first printing press were based on his research for his 2012 e-book, Gutenberg the Geek, which was published as a Kindle Single.  Jarvis has also written What Would Google Do and Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live, in which he defends the concept of Internet openness and his opposition to restrictions based on the supposed protection of privacy.



A native Georgian, Leigh Egan holds a special fondness for the Peach State and enjoys contributing and interacting with the community. After attending Kennesaw State University, where she majored in English, Leigh has been a writer, editor, and journalist for the past 11 years. Her eclectic selections of articles and academic research cover a wide range of topics and can be found on various sites, magazines, community newspapers, and hyper-local publications. She has also edited several fiction and non-fiction books, and continues to provide editorial and writing services to local, national, and global clients. In her spare time, Leigh is an avid reader who enjoys family, music, and the outdoors. @Leighegan


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