Publishing is changing, so why fight it?

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BuzzFeed’s Reza Aslan Video via Fox News Is a Traffic Bonanza | New Republic.

The above article(possible paywall), while discussing an interview that has lot to do with academic writing, actually takes the discussion in another direction that I really like. Marc Tracy finds a story less in the subject of the video, but more in how it was distributed, and who if anyone should get credit for this story. He ultimately concludes that:

 The explosion in the ability to self-publish is redefining what publishing is and what kind of things publishers can make money off of. So I suppose the question becomes: What, in this era, can traditional journalism somehow add to the mix? And how can that, too, score pageviews and make money?

This sentiment is important for historians to ponder in the wake of the AHA’s pronouncement concerning dissertations, which I believe is a call to return to more traditional publishing methods. But in light of this article is the AHA right because a buzzfeed like entity might “steal” a dissertation and get “credit” for it? Or are they are they dooming historians to irrelevancy because there will always be someone who’s faster and more willing to publish content online? Much more to think about, but I’m still holding onto my gut reaction that a six year embargo is a bad, bad idea.

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