Life after truth: The death of journalism and what this means for democracy

 

The mass media model that brought breaking news into our homes has crumbled under the weight of digital media. As newspapers shrink and media empires disappear, what has happened to the concepts and ideals that underpinned them? The relationship between 'news' and 'truth' and the idea of journalism as a crusading vocation with a special role in defending democracy may be two of the casualties of this upheaval. If traditional 'news' has become a toxic stew of violence, opinion, and gossip, are we looking at life after truth? Does this mean democracies without informed citizens, or can new media give democracies what they need? Can we look forward to a new era of real freedom of information, or will the technologies that fractured the old systems crush the utopian dreams of the new one?

Conrad Black, former media proprietor
Annabel Crabb, ABC chief online political reporter
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post columnist
with James Fallows, The Atlantic national correspondent