More new(ish)-media babble
As it happens, I've found another example to cite in the content/context argument. I gave the Daily Kos a fairly thorough read last night for the first time. I found this stimulating but wearying.
The viewpoints were congenial, the strength of the opinions bracing, and the commenters by and large intelligent. But it was a gathering of the converted. Everyone agreed with everyone else, not a perfect recipe for the democracy these folks think they are championing, and fatiguing to read.
Newspapers may be bland and limited, but at least they pay lip service to the idea of offering a range of views. And what will the righteous Kosites kick around when the mainstream media die?
One of the Kos articles also made an extremely common mathematical error, the sort of thing good copy editors are trained to catch. But then, copy editors are so mainstream media. (I wrote to the Daily Kos about this error. I will let you know when I receive a reply. I will not hold my breath.)
I do think the problem of the sameness and general consensus of self-selected communities is a big unanswered problem of the current era. While newspapers and magazines do tend to hew to a certain predictable part of the political spectrum, a lot people who are not that close to that cast of mind may still read them, and send a pointed comment to the editorial page, which others are then quite likely to read and comment upon in turn. It's not the same with the niche market internet media. But I don't know what the solution is.
Peter Rozovsky said...
My sentiments exactly. I invoked the editorial page in a discussion today. An editorial might be lame, and letters disagreeing with it might be from whack jobs, but the forum creates something like a debate. Even such a fine Internet site as the Daily Kos, on the other hand, looks like a vigorous, eloquent debate with just one participant.
In this light, one might see niche media as an unfortunate reification of an instant-gratification, Me-decade mentality: I want to read only what I want to read, written only by people who agree with me. We will suffer if this media model becomes prevalent. How much and in what ways, I can't say.
© Peter Rozovsky 2008