Comment 41410

By The View From Up Here (anonymous) | Posted June 01, 2010 at 13:07:09

Sorry, but this article is comment is no longer relevant. The future it predicts has already come and gone. Newspapers have not dominated the dissemination of news since Kennedy defeated Nixon in a televised debate. Newspapers have had to adapt to stay relevant at least since then. It has just taken many a long time to die, largely because advertisers have been slow to adapt. They got radio and TV, but digital media have moved more quickly than the average media buyer.

A major cause of this failure is evident in this commentary's view of "the internet" as a single medium. In fact various digital media and formats have risen and receded in the past twenty years. Last year was Facebook. This year is Twitter. Cell phones gather and disseminate news. YouTube has numerous immitatators. Whither e-mail, yahoo, your own web-site? It is the lack of a single dominant replacement medium that has allowed newspapers and television networks the illusion that they still dominate the dissemination of news even as their circulation numbers have declined, and their client advertisers and political systems to ignore their own effectiveness right up to the recent economic collapse.

But most importantly, it is not the failure of newspapers that most effects how our lives will be lived. It is the end of concensus. Without the information oligopoly it becomes more difficult to build the mass markets that support the mass manufacturing characteristic of the industrial era. With out dominant media through which to manufacture concensus, there is no political "truth", no "public record" and little chance to convey notions of justice on which our democratic system has relied. Official, authorized versions are constantly undermined by people with cell phones. As our daily lives are less and less about direct experience, and more and more are media mediated, communities that believe their local newspapers or any other single medium are increasingly out of touch.

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