March 29 marked the first in a series of dialogue luncheons on the Future of Content 2020, hosted by the Communications and Society Program in association with TMG Custom Media. The dialogue featured two experts in media and journalism—Ken Auletta, author of Googled and columnist for the New Yorker, and Marcus Brauchli, managing editor of the Washington Post.
The conversation, moderated by Walter Isaacson, came full circle on the evolution of content and how we, as citizens, dictate the quality and type of information that we receive. Technology enables us to be in the know instantaneously, but is viral content as trustworthy as the content we read from established publications? Isaacson pointed out that before 1995, when the world wide web was created, the Internet was much more of a community where people shared ideas, and the invention of the web was a “regression” because anyone could “publish” themselves on it. We have returned to the pre-1995 era, he said, where the Internet is less about publishing and more about sharing.
What lies ahead? Where will we be in 5 years? That is the fear and excitement about technology. According to Auletta, “Mark Zuckerberg is frightened—tomorrow he may be extinct himself. He doesn’t know where Facebook will be in 5 years.”