Brit warns Net has medieval parallels

January 27, 2006

A British broadcaster warned in a speech that increasing reliance on Internet video and audio could drag culture back to the oral-based Middle Ages.

Andrew Marr of Britain's News of the World told the London College of Communications that abandoning written text in favor of sound bites and short videos will turn the Internet into an arena of legends and facile explanations.

Such an "oral-based" Internet media was similar to medieval society and its reliance on folklore and religious symbolism.

"I do fear a culture where we only hear things and we only see things and that it all sweeps past us a little too fast, and we can't really tell after a while whether it was the politician who said that originally or if it was (British television comedian) Rory Bremner," Marr said, according to the British media journal Press Gazette.

Marr said written forms of journalism can and should contain the facts, figures and exact quotes from newsmakers that the public needs to make informed decisions on world events.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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