Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Columbia Journalism Review on audiences and overload - much needed

Acquiring new information requires particularly focused attention, which includes the ability to ignore distractions. In order to absorb the information contained in a CNN newscast, for example, we must not only direct our attention to the person talking, but also filter out the running headlines, news updates, and financial ticker on the lower part of the screen. Torkel Klingberg, a professor of cognitive neuroscience at Karolinska Institute in Sweden and author of The Overflowing Brain, puts it simply: “If we do not focus our attention on something, we will not remember it.” In other words, attention is a critical component of learning.

Bree Nordenson in the CJR. It is always great to read a piece about the future of journalism that's about the audiences, and the sheer terrifying scale of the information sea now.

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