Daniel Bell, dubbed the sociologist of capitalism, has died in the USA.
His insights into modern society in three key books provide today’s content generators with important guidance.
The post-industrial society which he prophesied and described is based on information with a key role for the content generator.
Greater role for journalistic mediation
There will be, he said, so much information that there will be a greater need for “mediation” or “journalistic translation”, as he called it.
“News is no longer reported but interpreted,” was a key phrase of his.
A game between persons
Another of his phrases is that “the post-industrial society is a game between persons.” In other words, our individuality will be increasingly appealed to.
This means for all writers we need to feed the individual reader, not the collective reader. Do not appeal to your readers as a mass but as individuals. Yes, they are in groups, but they want, in this society, to be appealed to as individuals.
Hence the success of products and services, although provided in mass, which address the needs of the individual. Hence the iPhone, the iPad etc. Look at the “i” in front of those products: this is not just clever marketing but an alignment with today’s capitalist values.
Bell was a journalist on Fortune magazine, among other publications, before becoming an academic. He was asked why he changed careers and said the reason was June, July, August and September. These academic holidays gave him the time to write The Coming of Post-Industrial Society, The End of Ideology and The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism.