Italian Journalist Luca De Biase’s McLuhan Salon Presentation on Today’s Journalism


Luca De Biase, Journalist; Editor, Nova 24, of Il Sole 24 Ore

By Jonathan R. Slater, Ph.D.

Italian journalist Luca De Biase was the invited speaker at an event sponsored by Toronto Metropolitan University and the University of Toronto on Wednesday evening, March 15 at TMU’s Rogers Communication Centre. Dr. Paolo Granata, coordinator of St. Michael’s College Book and Media Studies program at the University of Toronto, introduced Biase’s talk, “Journalism as the next big wave.”
De Biase shared the observation that trust in both traditional information sources and social media has been in decline because of an apparent waning desire among audiences to really know the news. To counter this trend, he argued, journalism itself would need to become a strategy offering a new kind of citizenship and renewed focus on community. Journalism can offer what De Biase calls an “artisanal method” to render facts more appealing to audiences and serve as an innovative solution in maintaining the quality of information.
De Biase also emphasized that journalism has an ethical obligation to sustain reality by decoding common and often fallacious narratives which audiences are interpreting as real. Such narratives, he argued, can overwhelm the facts. De Biase lamented that today’s obsession with measuring engagement within digital environments tends to foster polarization as audiences gravitate to narratives that appeal to them. A digital environment, he pointed out, is merely a distribution system. Humans thus have a duty to remain at the centre of knowledge accumulation. De Biase noted that humans still have a responsibility to debug the whole digital system and should not rely on that system to perform that function.
According to De Biase, developing new technology is not necessarily the way to meet this growing challenge. Rather, he contended, the solution may be found in designing more effective human-machine interactions. The recent emergence of such new technologies as open AI, for example, poses additional challenges to De Biase’s vision of the future of journalism. He argued that AI places a number of practical limitations on journalism and represents an “epistemological mess.”

Another Paolo Granata McLuhan Salon

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