The media’s current problems begin with two more people: Gottfried Leibniz, a 17th century mathematician credited with inventing the binary system. And Ada Lovelace, who helped develop the first computer program in 1843. They were solving problems of their own, and identifying new ones, which in turn were solved again, and so on.
Now at some point people in the media industry came across the legacies of Leibniz and Lovelace. And they thought: “Hm, this looks interesting. Perhaps we can use these technologies to solve our own problem?” And their own problem was the same as that of every company: how can we make more money? How can we produce our product more cheaply? How can we sell the same thing twice?
The solution, they decided, was to digitise as many of the processes in news production as possible. They wanted convergence.
And at first, it worked. Production costs went down, productivity went up.
(I’m reminded here of a small fact about Gutenberg – that the earliest known examples of printing using Gutenberg’s technology are indulgences, suggesting that the church – or at least individuals within it – saw printing as a way to solve their own problem of raising funds. Of course by flooding the market with these indulgences, the Roman church found itself with a new problem: Protestantism)
But over time new problems came up – and the news industry is still trying to solve them."