New Post on Dangerous Intersection

I’ve put up a new post on Dangerous Intersection, “The traditional media is dying“.

This is an open thread. Comments and discussion are welcome.

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • Ingersoll’s Revenge

    As always, Ebon, well said.

    This is part of the reason that the government is providing so many incentives for people to buy converter boxes to facilitate the switch-over to high definition television. The MSM and the FCC have a tight hold on the American public through the “boob tube,” and they do not want to lose it to something that cannot be regulated, such as the Internet.

    I encourage everyone to abstain from making the switch (if you don’t already own a t.v. that’s high-def compatible), as you can usually watch your favorite sitcoms and such on the Web the day after they air. And here’s a novel concept: what about actually, oh, I don’t know, reading a newspaper? You don’t even have to buy a paper one, necessarily; it is possible to access those articles online if one has a subscription, and sometimes for free.

    The media’s recent actions are proof positive that they are losing power – and it scares them. Good. Let them be scared. Tyrants always dread revolt, and in this case, they are fighting a losing battle.

    To quote Douglas Adams, the MSM are “A bunch of mindless idiots who will be first against the wall when the revolution comes.”

  • 2-D Man

    An interesting question popped into my head as I was reading and it came up in DI’s comments as well: how do you know that these people are switching to blogs when they reject mainstream media? How do you know they aren’t rejecting outright the important issues affecting* outside world?

    Another important question regarding blogging concerns ethics. Popular bloggers may weild ennormous power of persuasion, even if they don’t realize it. There has been some debate about the ethics of bloggers, what standard they ought to be held to and how that is to be done since the Microsoft scandal.

    *I’m not sure if this should be ‘effect’. I looked it up on dictionary.com and it seems to be right. Any grammarians in the crowd are encouraged to call me out.

  • Bechamel

    I was never a fan of network newscasts. Couldn’t help but find them irredeemably dull. I’d rather go without certain bits of knowledge than suffer through a half hour of stodginess a night. But now there are more choices, like cable news anchors who aren’t afraid to state the blindingly obvious, like that the current administration’s policies are destroying the country (Hi Keith Olbermann!), and comedic shows that are more educational than most newscasts (Hi Stewart and Colbert!). So yeah, while a lot of the audience of the nightly news programs left (or, probably more accurately, died off and were replaced by a generation that doesn’t care as much), it seems like the new generation may coming back around. It’s just that with all the choices we have now, people aren’t coming back to the “Big Three” nightly newscasts. Maybe. I hope.

    Oh, and to placate my SIWOTI syndrome:

    2-D Man: You are correct. In most cases, “affect” is the verb and “effect” is the noun. The exceptions are that to effect (verb) is to bring about or cause to happen (usually used as “to effect change”), and an affect (noun) is an emotion (very rarely used).

    Ingersoll’s Revenge: The password is digital, not high-definition.

    And yeah, don’t watch Countdown or The Daily Show, read a newspaper. That’ll really show the mainstream media.

  • http://www.daylightatheism.org Ebonmuse

    Although the newspapers, to an extent, have fallen victim to the same disease that’s infecting the broadcast news organizations, there’s still some high-quality reporting going on there – more so than on television, I’d say. Witness the New York Times‘ recent unveiling of the scandal where government operatives were appearing on TV, masquerading as “independent analysts”, to disseminate Pentagon propaganda (needless to say, the networks themselves have done their best to black this story out). Charlie Savage of the Boston Globe has done some stellar work reporting on President Bush’s use of signing statements, a development which most media organizations have ignored. There’s also the Washington Post breaking the story of the shoddy treatment wounded veterans have been receiving at Walter Reed and other VA hospitals.

  • Sean M.

    Shouldn’t the title be “The Traditional Media are Dying in America“? Not all of your readers are American by any means ;)

    I agree with most of what you said, but …

    one thing to keep in mind is that the ‘traditional media’ are still opening and researching almost all of the stories. Independent journalists who publish mainly on the Internet are still a small minority, and bloggers provide publicity and commentary but rarely do reporting. I don’t see this changing unless there is a revolution in how reporters can make money.

  • Valhar2000

    Sean, you are right, but it may not be so bad. Even now, a lot of news get reported on, though the majority will not be picked up by important outlets. If bloggers publicize these news, a lot has been done. There is still a lot of original reporting that manages to be done, in spite of the dereliction of their duties that the main broadcasters practice.

  • Ingersoll’s Revenge

    Bechamel,

    Ingersoll’s Revenge: The password is digital, not high-definition.

    You’re right; sorry. I’m not exactly what modern society considers “technologically literate.”

    And yeah, don’t watch Countdown or The Daily Show, read a newspaper. That’ll really show the mainstream media.

    While many of the largest newspapers are controlled by MSM outlets, there is a key difference between television and newspapers as an informative medium: reading a newspaper is significantly more engaging than staring at a t.v.

    Television is, in many ways, the ultimate form of propaganda; despite what many networks try to do, there exists little opportunity for open dialogue and debate. Even cable shows such as Crossfire, or what have you, are mere shouting matches, and the loudest, most intransigent orator is usually the victor. Television dictates what you watch, when you watch it and how you watch it. One does not suffer these pitfalls with the print media.

    And besides, now even clips of The Daily Show are available online! ;)

  • http://www.daylightatheism.org Ebonmuse

    Television is, in many ways, the ultimate form of propaganda; despite what many networks try to do, there exists little opportunity for open dialogue and debate. Even cable shows such as Crossfire, or what have you, are mere shouting matches, and the loudest, most intransigent orator is usually the victor. Television dictates what you watch, when you watch it and how you watch it.

    This is a very good point that deserves to be made more often. Television is intrinsically an information-limited medium: the speed at which information is conveyed depends on the speed at which people can talk, which isn’t very fast. Also, given how expensive it is to produce and transmit a show, there’s usually only going to be one stream of information available to the viewer at any one time. Whatever the TV executives decide to talk about, that’s what will be talked about.

    Print media doesn’t suffer from these problems to the same degree. When I read, I can absorb information at my own pace, and I can move from one story to another as the interest takes me. In print, opposing voices can’t drown each other out as they often do on television. And because print is a cheaper medium to produce than television, especially with the Internet, many more voices now have a chance to be heard.


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