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Transistor kills the radio star?

A nova lógica de gatekeepers

I also knew that McLuhan shared this jaundiced view of publishers noting as often as he could, and with special relish, how “the Xerox makes everyone a publisher” (1977a, p. 178). (…)…But I also realized that photocopying would not provide the solution For although it was inexpensive and widely accessible by the 1970s, its output looked nothing like books, newspapers, magazines, even academic journals – the media in which writers had become pleased since the advent of the printing press to present their words to the public. Thus, like so many of McLuhan’s observations, the photocopier as publisher was more metaphor than reality. levinson, 1999120

 

«Letters to the Editor” are supposed to serve as a remedy for the oversights and errors of gatekeeping: if the newspaper fails to print something Important, or makes a mistake in its reporting, an alert reader can send .d a limitations that engender gatekeeping in the first place work to keep the overwhelming majority of such letters unprinted. … 123

 

And yet Walter Cronkite conc1uded each of his CBS-TV nightly newscasts in the 1960s and 70s with a sonorous “And that’s the way it was” – the broadcast equivalent of “All the News That’s Fit to Print,” and just as misleading. A more accurate tagline would have been, “And that’s the way the editors at CBS decided you should think it was.’ Today, television networks present their news with much the same underlying attitude as Walter Cronkite, if without the explicit (yet historically endearing) self-benediction. But call-in programs on radio and cable television, and the rapid expansion of cable television in general, have begun to pry open the gates. These, far more than the Xerox cited by McLuhan, are actually allowing samples of “everyone” to publish on the air. 124-

 

Amazon.com’s approach to book reviews is also indicative of a new gatekeeping without gates.  128

Amazon.com seems further instructive of how a digital future might operate along the lines of McLuhan’s “everyone a publisher.” Listings for books frequently show titles of similar books that buyers of the instanced book also purchased. Buyers are encouraged to “click” on options that cause Amazon.com to notify them when future books by a specified author or about a specified topic become available. These and similar “push” technologies – i.e., programs that, once set, automatically bring selections to customers, in contrast to “pull” technologies which require the user to search the online bookstore or Web anew for each desired selection – show the transformation of gatekeeping in online bookstores to special delivering. (…) Such “matchmaking” (as Stanley Schmidt, editor of Analog: Science Fiction and Fact magazine, aptly calls this new editorial function; see Levinson & Schmidt, forthcoming; also Schmidt, 1989) can further develop in a variety of ways. 129-130

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