Linguistic confusion of the media

Babylon launches an intermedia dialogue project

Babylon launches an intermedia dialog projectBy Ernst WeberIt is not entirely out of the air to characterize the current media situation as a modern version of the Tower of Babel: Confusion reigns because everyone is affected by the development, but no one can say exactly where it will lead. Now a cross-media project with the meaningful name Babylon 1.7 holds out the prospect of transparency.
Babylon 1.7 is a cross-media project to promote open dialog about the current media situation. The communication platform set up by a Babylon working group consists of a print object entitled "Declaration of Love for the Media" and an interdisciplinary, interactive web object www.babylon
While in the print object, which will be published three times a year for the time being, guest authors provide input for the debate, the website represents a forum in which a constructive, transparency-creating discussion about the modern Babylonian confusion is to be raised in the current end-of-print discourse.
The project was initiated by designer Robert Krügel and freelance copywriter Roland Müller. The two decided to realize the idea in the presence of Christoph Müller, co-owner of the prepress company Typolitho, in an emotional hour, says Marianne Egli, owner of the PR agency Union 3 and member of the seven-member Babylon working group, which supports the project as a sponsor "with know-how, hard work and money.
Putting the communicative aspect above the commercial aspect
The commitment of this working group, made up exclusively of people associated with commercial communications, is all the more astonishing given that Babylon 1.7 is an experiment: None of the participants knows exactly what it will become.
The Babylon Working Group sees itself as an open circle that wants to grow in the knowledge that the development of media is an open process. The vision is not to disentangle the confusion around old and new media, but to be able to illuminate as "one among many voices from the most diverse perspectives how the various media worlds mutually fertilize, compete and generate something new," according to a statement. "The joy of the media, when you see a whole world opening up there, is what makes you want to get involved," says Marianne Egli.
A sample booklet in the form of a carrier bag, which physically presents the project for better understanding, met with lively interest at this year's Leipzig Book Fair. Well-known writers and media luminaries such as Negro Ponte from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have already pledged to support the intended discussion with their own contributions.
However, Babylon 1.7 shall neither
a priori become an intellectual outpouring, nor otherwise degenerate into a detached story: "There really should be room in this vessel for everything that belongs to a comprehensive media discussion," says Marianne Egli.

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