Monday, March 14, 2011

How to start worrying and hate New Media

2010-06-24-IMG_8543So, I was reading James Fallow's Learning to Love the (Shallow, Divisive, Unreliable) New Media in The Atlantic (FYI, probably the best long-form dig-deep media outlet - notice I didn't say "magazine" - out there) and was struck by the opening which referenced a Ted Koppel Washington Post piece that was basically about the "good old days of broadcast media." Fallow's then goes on for a number of pages that basically condemns "new media" for its pandering to "trendy" news and creation of "news".

Now of course we all know that Koppel rode the gravy train of needless sensationalism with his own "America Held Hostage" TV show (which eventually turned into "Nightline").

Fallows eventually gets around to mentioning this - many many pages later, but by that time he's so discredited his thesis that I didn't care much anymore.

The article is worth reading, if for nothing else, the counter arguments that it will help you build.

Nota Bene: in the same issue, you'll find an excellent piece by Newton Minow (yes, he of The Skipper's SS Minnow from Gilligan's Island fame), "A Vaster Wasteland" which tells why our new media have trumped the old media that brought us the "vast wasteland":
Our first must be to expand freedom, in order to strengthen editorial independence in news and information. Freedom of thought is the foundation of our national character, and at its best the Internet represents the full flowering of that freedom. The Internet itself is the result of an open system that has encouraged technological innovation and creative energy we could never have dreamed of—and, happily, the FCC, under its talented chairman, Julius Genachowski, is leading public-interest advocates and industry groups to both meet the practical needs and uphold the democratic values at stake. 

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