What next for newspapers?

Friday 03 July 2009 18:28 BST

The global financial crisis has brought the structural weakneses of the traditional newspaper business model into sharp relief for many world-renowned papers as the industry seeks to respond to the changing competitive environment in the digital era.

A rich debate is developing in print and across the web about the implications of these changes for the newspaper industry, for journalism, and for society. And we would like you to help us explore and weigh this debate using the interactive map below.

We have seeded the map with arguments raised by, among others, Clay Shirky, Richard Posner, Jeff Jarvis, Roy Greenslade, Howard Kurtz, and our own Gavin O’Reilly; however, as before, every aspect of the map is provisional and open to further iterative improvement like a wiki – with everyone being able add new points and comments to the map after registering and logging in.

The aim with interactive collaborative maps of this kind is to weave together all of the salient issues, positions and arguments dispersed through the community into a single rich, transparent structure – in which each idea and argument is expressed just once – so that it’s possible to explore all perspectives quickly and gain a good sense of the scope and perceived merits of the different arguments

You can move around the map by clicking on the coloured spheres: clicking on the smallest spheres takes you deeper into an argument, clicking on the largest sphere takes you back up.

To rate the arguments, click on the arrows that connect the spheres. A 1–9 rating scale opens when you click on an arrow. A “9” rating means that you think it’s a very strong point: a “1” rating that it’s a very weak point. As the community begins to rate the different ideas the thickness of the arrows changes to signal which ideas are perceived to be strongest and weakest.

The “i” button below the map opens a help page and the adjacent “screen” button expands the map to a full-screen view. The other buttons let you view fuller details for each point, add comments and links to revelvant articles elsewhere on the web, access links to share and embed the map, and open an overview visualization (which is also where you are able to add your own ideas to the structure of the map).

As with the other maps in the series you can you can keep up to date with developments on this map via the Independent Minds blog and @TheIndyDebate on Twitter. And you are welcome to embed the map on your own website or blog (like a YouTube video) using the code shown below:

<iframe src='http://debategraph.org/flash/fv_indep.aspx?r=21130' frameborder='0' width='450' height='600' scrolling='no'></iframe>

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