This paper will follow three strands as it attempts to determine what a more engaging, democratic, and self-sufficient future might look like for the production and consumption of journalism, not just as an industry, but as a part of a wider group of cultural activities that we hold dear: firstly an account of how the undying maxims of journalism must survive the adaptation into new formats; secondly, how do we improve journalism by borrowing from other industries in cultural, political and ethical contexts? And finally, journalism is the latest in a string of industries to have been changed economically by digital abundance, i.e. the industrial possibilities that occur when the price of reproduction and distribution begin to asymptotically reach zero. What economic lessons can we learn from this?
This lecture was given within the framework of the 2011 School of Critical Theory organized by the Centre for the Humanities in Utrecht. The programme was titled ‘G-local Cosmopolitanism: The Social Responsibility of the Artists, the Academics, and the Media’, and offered trans-national and interdisciplinary approaches drawn from the humanities, social sciences, law, philosophy and international relations. Its focus on the development of cross-national European perspectives in these areas, allows for the innovative use of key notions of cosmopolitanism across different national, cultural and disciplinary traditions. The school consisted of three clusters, which focused on Cosmopolitanism and the social responsibility of the Artists, Cosmopolitanism and the social responsibility of the Academics, and Cosmopolitanism and the social responsibility of the Media.