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Friday, March 14, 2008

Selective Accountability in the Media

Here is an interesting article on AlterNet, courtesy of Mark Weisbrot at CEPR: http://www.alternet.org/columnists/story/79465/

While a lot of times the anti-media discussion is spurred on by people with an agenda (and Mr. Weisbrot is no exception, at least on Venezuela), the general point that the mainstream media should be home to a much larger variety of perspectives is well taken. Furthermore, the depth of reporting needs to be improved in many cases, as reporters frequently make statements without substantial evidential support and without presenting the opposing view. It is one thing to have an opinion (e.g. the Economist), it is another thing to implicitly bias an article through word choice and unsubstantiated opinion, especially when the journalist reporting is not an expert in the field (as Mr. Weisbrot points out with Iraq and the Housing Market).

Unfortunately, it seems (to me at least) unlikely that there will be much competition with the mainstream media until the current net-savvy generation is in their middle age (blog searches and net-magazines need to be used on a large scale - and that requires knowledge that they are out there - much more prevalent among the youth today).

2 comments:

Chingsung said...

I'm of the opinion that a lot of media-related things are going to change when our generation reaches middle age. The internet is a phenomenal tool for just about everything, and it seems that the current generation in control either doesn't understand that or is refusing to adapt.

The change you mention here is only going to be a small part of what we see. The bulk of the Information Revolution is still to come.

Sean said...

I happen to agree, but there is still a significant lag between generations in terms of who is capable of using what tools - just think of the professor who is utterly clueless about how e-mail works, people who distrust Amazon etc. The combination of getting older and having a full-time job makes it much harder to keep up on all the new developments. Plus, unlike our generation (and we're really only the cusp of this), our parents' generation (never mind our grandparents' generation) isn't plugged-in constantly, nor do they want to be.

It will be 10-15 years before we really have a grasp of what the world will look like, information-wise. It will certainly be 10-15 years before the majority of the population becomes used to adapting to these changes on a regular basis. I agree that the change is coming, bit it will take a while for it to be properly utilized.

Also - I am sure the media will adapt, and to a large extent the print media already has (with the partial exceptions of the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, and some of the political pseudo-journals (e.g. Foreign Policy). The TV media is gradually shifting to streaming, etc. as well, so they will still have a role to play, but I see it becoming more limited. It will definitely be an interesting ride.