Covering music file-sharing and the future of innovation
This paper explores the coverage of file–sharing from before the RIAA/Napster trial of 2000, drawing on interviews with journalists from the New York Times, Wired, Salon and the Los Angeles Times and on analysis of their stories and columns of opinion. It argues the file–sharing story saw “establishment” journalists unapologetically move away from long–established norms of journalism — by relying on alternative sources and by frankly including their own points of view, for example. The course of the stories these journalists produced points to the tensions that continue to mount in the new–media news landscape and to the forces that shape stories in the mainstream press. For more than a decade U.S. journalists lingered on the margins of profound questions about the limits of freedom under the rule of the market. Yet, with the emergence of the recording industry into the online music scene, journalists backed off, leaving the questions they raised unanswered and the larger issues behind the questions mostly unaddressed.
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