Index on Censorship Big Debate: Journalism or fiction?

Index on Censorship Big Debate: Journalism or fiction? by Josie Timms.

From the webpage:

The Index on Censorship Big Debate took place at the 5th annual Leeds Big Bookend Festival this week, where journalists and authors were invited to discuss which has the biggest impact: journalism or fiction. Index’s magazine editor Rachael Jolley was joined by assistant features editor of The Yorkshire Post Chris Bond, Yorkshire-based journalist and author Yvette Huddleston and author of the award- winning Promised Land Anthony Clavane to explore which medium is more influential and why, as part of a series of Time To Talk debates held by Eurozine. Audio from the debate will be available at Time to Talk or listen below.

Highly entertaining discussion but “debate” is a bit of a stretch.

No definition of “impact” was offered, although an informal show of hands was reported to have the vast majority remembering a work of fiction that influenced them and only a distinct minority remembering a work of journalism.

Interesting result because Dickens, a journalist, was mentioned as an influential writer of fiction. At the time, fiction was published in serialized formats (newspapers, magazines) Victorian Serial Novels, spreading the cost of a work of fiction over months, if not longer.

Dickens is a good example to not make too much of the distinction, if any, between journalism and fiction. Both are reports of the past, present or projected future from a particular point of view.

At their best, journalism and fiction inform us, enlighten us, show us other points of view, capture events and details we did not witness ourselves.

That doesn’t accord with the 0 or 1 reality of our silicon servants, but I have no desire to help AIs become equal to humans by making humans dumber.


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