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July 08 2011


The future of news: turning back to the coffee house

The Economist :: Three hundred years ago news travelled by word of mouth or letter, and circulated in taverns and coffee houses in the form of pamphlets, newsletters and broadsides. “The Coffee houses particularly are very commodious for a free Conversation, and for reading at an easie Rate all manner of printed News,” noted one observer. 

Now, as The Economist's special report "Bulletins from the future. A special report on the news industry" explains, the news industry is returning to something closer to the coffee house. The internet is making news more participatory, social, diverse and partisan, reviving the discursive ethos of the era before mass media. That will have profound effects on society and politics.

Ah, yes, I'm currently sitting in a coffee house, in the center of Munich, at Robetti, Klenzestrasse and writing about the future of journalism, working with the first prototype of the Liquid Newroom. Coffee houses? I like them. They allow me to stay where stories happen ... among the people in my neighbo(u)rhood for now.

Continue to read www.economist.com

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