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Information in the Information Age

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William Badke

on 5 September 2012

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Transcript of Information in the Information Age

Information in the Information Age Once we thought we knew what information is Books Journals We had a measure of
certainty... Because there was gatekeeping Gatekeeping? There were people,
like editors and publishers
who screened manuscripts
and only published
the best. Now nothing is as certain as it was.

So how did we get here? Before there was formal
Information was "traditional."
Reliability of information was crucial
Criticizing information without permission was forbidden.
Keepers of knowledge were elite. With the coming of reading
and writing:
Knowledge could be preserved in print
Keepers of knowledge were more elite than in oral societies The arrival of the printing press
meant that:
More people could access the knowledge base
Knowledge keepers were no longer as elite
Multiple copies made information more secure But knowledge was still controlled
because publishing cost money.
This required gatekeepers to determine
whether or not a work would be published.
Gatekeepers preserved quality
On the dark side, gatekeepers could become
censors. Enter the Internet Gatekeeping is no longer essential
More ability to create and acquire information than ever before
But readers become the gatekeepers

All of this is great for the spread of knowledge, but very risky for quality of our information resources. Today:
Traditional publishing does continue with gatekeeping
Books, along with the e-book revolution
Journals, now primarily in electronic formats As with most things, innovation brings challenges with it. The Net is the most significant tool for information production and freedom of expression ever. But the benefits of the Net are tempered by a lack of gatekeeping. Do you know how to evaluate today's information sources? How do we maintain the quality of information when there are fewer gatekeepers? Are you a careful information consumer?
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