The press in Europe (3/5): Newspapers will not die in Silicon Valley

26 December 2012
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Frankfurt

In the Internet age, anyone can be an author, journalist, publisher, and anyone can earn money from it: So went the mantra. But the democratisation of information never happened. Excerpts.

What have we gained from this Internet dawn, so full of promise? Everyone has in his pocket on or on his desk, all manner of devices which give him him more means of communication than the American president would have had 20 years ago. For a couple of euros, a person could transform himself into a television studio producer or a publisher. Anything was possible, they all said – but it was all snored away.

Let's face it: it's been a disaster. Either that, or it has been a dream that, now that we're all awake, we should stop and have a good think about.

We are not talking about the newspaper crisis here. If after the bankruptcy of Frankfurter Rundschau and the demise of the Financial Times Deutschland the great Pavlovian apparatus of public communications and media is talking so much of missed opportunities – all this not always wrongly, but always self-righteously – then it's time to take another look at who's in the same boat.

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Other parts of the series:

El País: delusions of grandeur

Still pandering to the power brokers

Culture is becoming a luxury

Embedded in the Brussels bubble

Translated from the German by Anton Baer

Factual or translation error? Tell us.