How the notion of quality is changing in the information ecosystem?
By Luca De Biase
Libraries, academic journals, newspapers and editors – says David Weinberger- continue to evaluate and select information that they think is worthwhile but today there is no longer a clear distinction between highly valued and less worthwhile knowledge and knowledge which is real Knowledge. The task of making this distinction rests with each one of us.
The new information ecosystem embraces a lot of models with which it is possible to make quality information, Paul Steiger tells us. Newer models of text narrative made up of shorter articles, faster and close to the news; the longer stories, on the other hand, are presented in a variety of previously unknown ways thanks to digital platforms; social networks help to rebuild the context of the news thanks to the enormous quantity of information and they themselves become a source of news and lastly the databases present on the web can be transformed into news.
John Lloyd tells us that there is an enormous part of the world of work that journalism hasn’t depicted well enough. Workers have never been able to tell us themselves (the unions, journalists, social scientists have done it for them). But today there is a real a lack of journalists able to narrate the large dramas in employment that are of interest to the working classes all over the world.
Chris Brooks begins his answer by stating how nowadays a large part of what we think we “know” is based on statistics. The information is made up of structured and formatted data but on its own it’s not enough: it’s knowledge that could guarantee an improvement in our decision-making skills or in defining politics that could lead towards a better world.
Angelo Agostini observes the issue of the quality of information from a different angle and wonders “how the quality of the readers changes.” This is because the question of how people can be put into a frame of mind of knowing that they are constantly emersed in a continuous processing of information is central to the discussion. In reality this task should be carried out by the school which “thus as it teaches to read and write, so it should teach to live with the media”. However, as it doesn’t currently do this , initiatives like <ahref’s are welcome.
According to Mario Tedeschini Lalli the increase in information boosts the quantity of “quality” information and it is absolutely untrue that filters no longer exist: they are (still) online newspapers, they are human or automatic aggregators, they are “friends” of the social networks, the most authoritative bloggers, etc. The problem is then which selection criteria they should adopt and the answer lies in respecting the traditional rules of good journalism: working on data, on facts and on its verification.
The current landscape of knowledge workers, including journalists in a broader sense, cannot be easily measured and outlined in qualitative terms.