Schieffer urges understanding of the digital revolution


    The Internet is responsible for making everyone a publisher, so TCU alumnus and journalist Bob Schieffer urged students and faculty on Tuesday to seek good publishers and get reliable news from multiple sources.

    Schieffer, who is on campus this week to meet students and faculty in the newly-renamed Bob Schieffer College of Communication, spoke about the communications revolution before taking questions from the audience.

    Dean David Whillock said the speech marked a new chapter for the college.

    “This event could be considered our opening moment…We will move the college to the next level in our continuing mission to provide the best education for our students in the ever-changing world of communication,” he said.

    Schieffer talked at length about how technology has disrupted journalism and the importance of newspapers in society. “Newspapers are at a crisis stage,” said Schieffer, referring to the movement of journalism away from print and onto the Internet.

    Schieffer mentioned Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who recently bought The Washington Post. Schieffer went on to wonder if Bezos would come up with a new economic model that would make newspapers viable, and talked about how the future will consist of mainly online media.

    Schieffer asked whether or not the information would have the same quality control that it has had in the past. “Will the information they contain really have undergone the same vetting that we expect from mainstream media . . . basically, is it true,” he said. 

    During the question and answer segment, a member of the audience asked for his opinion on metadata collection. Schieffer said the practice could possibly be the reason there hasn’t been a terrorist attack in the U.S. since 9/11, with the exception of the Boston Marathon bombing.

    Metadata is information collected from phone companies by the government that some consider private information. The National Security agency has come under fire in the last year for its practices of collecting data, raising questions of where privacy and protection meet. 

    “I do not think it is patriotic or wise for someone to do what Edward Snowden did,” Schieffer added.