I admit Mary Matalin and James Carville are not people with whom I am familiar, but James said a few things worth noting here:
- Some problems with information overload are really problems with having too little information.
- Some problems with a lack of information happen in an abundance of information.
- News is expensive. Opinion is cheap. For example, it takes a lot of money to send boats and helicopters and people out to a disaster in an ocean to get the real story. It takes far less to express personal thoughts about what’s happening.
- Some engineering disasters, whether it has to do with levies or oil rigs, are because of a lack of information.
He particularly wants people to keep that last point in mind, considering what’s happening in journalism these days.
While Mary acknowledges libraries change, she hopes we can preserve what they mean and have meant to people for generations. She shared how she used her library and its books to escape some troubles of her childhood.
James added that libraries aren’t just about books and information, but they’re about bringing people together and exposing them to new things. A bookmobile that traveled to his community regularly influenced him greatly.
Each time a library closes, we blow out a candle, James believes. He encourages someone to make a list of all the libraries that close each year to illustrate how bad the darkness is.
Not one of James’ journalism students reads a physical newspaper. They all get their news online. The younger folks are definitely shaping the future of news consumption.
News is not going away, Mary chimes in, but news agencies don’t have the proper tools to aggregate and display news in the ways consumers want it.