The Changing Face of News in the Information Age

A research project by Beau Dure, candidate for Master of Arts in Liberal Studies at Duke University, approved April 24, 2000.

That's the formal bit; I now have the degree in hand, and I'm posting this project on the Web to make it available to many and to give people a chance to comment.

WHAT IS THIS? I read extensively on the role of journalists in today's rapidly changing media landscape. Then, I interviewed several journalists to get their impressions. This paper is an analysis of what I found.

INSTRUCTIONS: You can use the navigation bar at left to go section-by-section through the paper. To return to this page, hit "Home" at the top.

Throughout the paper, you'll see footnotes in small blue underlined type. Click on these, and you'll see the corresponding note pop into the frame at bottom. Bear in mind that some notes repeat several times, so don't be alarmed if you click and don't see a change.

IN A HURRY?: You can make some sense of this by skipping through the first part of each section, and you're welcome to browse along in any order you choose.

If you want to skip past everything and see what my suggestions for the future of journalism, click "Suggestions," just after "CONCLUSION." You can also read the nutshell page for an informal overview.

THANKS: I have to start by thanking Susan Tifft, who took time out of her dual career as author and Duke professor to guide me through this project and the independent study preceding it. She offered great suggestions and encouragement throughout. The current director of the Duke MALS program, Donna Zapf, offered encouragement and helped me wade through an all-powerful university bureaucracy. The previous MALS director, Diane Sasson, brought me into the program and gave me the freedom (and the tools) to pursue the questions that had nagged me for years. And my late grandfather, Leon Dure Jr., was an innovative newspaperman who, as I discovered during the course of the project, championed investigative reporting, helped to invent the lifestyle section, and leaned on Duke University to admit female reporters to its athletic events. (He also told me to think of myself as a "newspaperman," not a "journalist.")

TO SEND YOUR COMMENTS: The last page listed on the navigation bar at left is "Updates." I'll be glad to post any comment of reasonable length and taste. Send them to