Big-Ass Questions

By Matt Thompson

I wanted to come to this gathering, as I said, because the conversations I’ve been hearing and participating in about the changes happening in the media have seemed at times brilliant, at times superficial, but always familiar. I was curious what would happen when a group of people passionate about the industry got together for a lengthier, more open-ended, more abstract conversation.

So is it working? After Day One-and-a-half, I’ll say I can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow. While the conversations I’ve had today have treaded some familiar ground, some have gone just a bit beyond charted territory. It has been abstract, in a very fun and provocative way. I feel engaged.

It’s odd to see myself type that – engaged — at a moment when my Internet connectivity is fleeting and my cell phone is showing one bar, roaming. This from a fellow who usually feels lost after he’s been away from his RSS reader for more than an hour. But part of my engagement here is probably in direct proportion to my detachment from technology. I’m not blogging this. (Not at the moment, at least.) And yes, there’s something to be said for that. The biggest immediate difference between this confab and so many others is that 75% of the participants are not hunched over their laptops, always the reporters, never the sources.

Tomorrow I convene a conversation called “What is journalism?” The feeling of not knowing exactly what will happen during that discussion exhilarates me. It’s, as I’ve said, a big-ass question. It won’t be answered here. But that it has been started is something important.

This entry was posted in Session Notes. Bookmark the permalink.