Guardian has let go of Jeff Jarvis and weekday progress

Progress requires some knowledge and time to study. It seems to me that the Guardian has now cut back so much on the value from Monday to Friday that the specialist sections are missing out, in particular about web technology and policy implications.

Saturday before last there was a review by Steven Poole of a book by Evgeny Morozov about Technology as Solutionism ( quick version of the title, this is a blog not enough space as in a literary review).  I find the tone to be hostile to the internet (YouTube assumed to be about sneezing cats for example) . This sort of thing is not unusual on the Guardian review pages.

But the shocker is the section on Jeff Jarvis, introduced as an "adversary" of Mozorow. It is claimed that Jeff Jarvis is " a new media cyberhustler and consultant who is serially wrong about the near future". Others mentioned include Clay Shirky and David Weinberger. By the way I have never seen a David Weinberger book reviewed in the Guardian.

Thing is, Jeff Jarvis used to have a regular section in the Media Guardian on a Monday. Once a fortnight there was a version of something from Buzzmachine , usually tidied up and adjusted for comments. Poole complains that "cyberhustlers are constantly declaring Year Zero and demanding that society be reformed according to the demands of the Internet". My own take is that the Media Guardian was once worth the cost of the paper for the guidance on how some news organisations are changing. 

My guess is that the Guardian from Monday to Friday is now a cash cow. The cover price has gone higher and the content is less and of lower quality or at least less interest for me.

Today there is a story in Education headlined "Mature student numbers fall off a cliff" which starts with a 40% decline since 2010-11 in the number of part-time students at UK universities. I find it strange that there is almost no mention of the internet. Matt Robb from Parthenon Group says that "students studying for leisure" are put off by higher fees. But there is no mention of alternatives available online that might be seen as better value. I find that Guardian Education rarely mentions the internet unless there is a special section with a sponsor.  This story includes a quote from Mark Simpson who found that distance learning did not work for him. But there is no quote from any student who has benefited from online resources. The decline in interest from mature students may be part of a general disconnect. Much academic writing is only available behind a journal paywall so the public that uses the web may be unaware of it.

Guardian reporters may well be reporting UK education as they find it. However I noticed that when Futurelearn was announced there was space for a long extract from the blog of Clay Shirky.  

What I expect is that the weekend Guardian will continue to get funding and development as a print product. The literary review pages will think about the Web on a similar basis to where the Media pages were a few years ago before Jeff Jarvis began his contributions.

This weekend there was a brief report , longer online, about a review on ebooks in libraries headed by William Sieghart

Addressing publishers' worries about the impact on their revenues that successful digital lending could have, Sieghart recommended that a digital copy of a book should only be loaned to one reader at a time, and for a limited period only. He said that digital copies of books should also "be deemed to deteriorate, ensuring their repurchase [by libraries] after a certain number of loans".

This is the sort of occasion when a comment from Jeff Jarvis would be welcome.