Boxed in

Dave Winer had to read eight speeches by steam media big shots explaining their strategy for dealing with the online world. His typically thoughtful summary of what he found reads:

For Jay’s [Jay Rosen, NYU] class, our assignment is to figure out how these guys are trying to adapt.

Here’s how I visualize how they’re doing it. Imagine a box made of cardboard. It’s big, but it’s light. Pick the box up and move it from one place to another. When it gets to the new spot, it’s still a big cardboard box. It still can contain the same stuff as the box did when it was in the old place.

That’s the transition each of these execs feel they have to make. The stuff in the box are news stories. The box is their editorial structure. The old place is print. The new place is the Internet.

Spot on. But it’s not just media moguls who don’t get it. Academia can be just as obtuse.