November 14, 2005

"We the Media" Chapters 3-5: Revenge of the Nerds

Chapter 3
Yay for bloggers! Because of our neverending insistence, we triumphed over the national media. Ok, maybe not all the time, but during the Trent Lott scandal (an event ignored my the major press) bloggers and online journalists kept the story alive--then the big media picked it up.

I think this example is great proof of the power of the little people. The lines of journalism have been blurred; it's not just top reporters and talking heads handling the news, but regular individuals, too. Modern communication is one of the factors to thank for this explosion of world-wide journalistic attitudes. Without the ability to share info with a mouse and a keyboard, who knows how involved Mr. Joe Smith would be with the news being fed to him.

Chapter 4
I wrote once before about the importance of questioning in journalism and the consumers' duty to themselves to personally investigate the news. This chapter presents a remedy for the potential problems in journalism. The Department of Defense posted the transcript of an interview with Donald Rumsfeld--why? To prevent any questions or doubt the audience (and other journalists) had about the authenticity of the interview. Genuis! It's unrealistic to consider posting every interview or background information on a news story, but I still think this practice should be continued. Interview questions and how they are asked are vital to the understanding of a story. Manipulation of facts can easily turn one story into another.

“The ultimate idea is that you should get the information you want when you want it...”
This comment made by Bill Gates notes the conveniance and advantage to blogs in the workplace. This chapter was eye-opening to me, because I always had in my head that blogs were used for amusement rather then work, but it seems as if blogs now reach into all aspects of the world.

Chapter 5
"This evolution is also about reinforcing citizenship. The
emerging form of bottom-up politics is bringing civic activity
back into a culture that has long since given up on politics as
anything but a hard-edged game for the wealthy and powerful.
The technologies of newsmaking are available to citizen and
politician alike, and may well be the vehicle for saving something
we could otherwise lose: a system in which the consent of
the governed means more than the simple casting of votes."

I think most of realize the power the Internet holds. An individual can be immoratlized, both negatively and positively. A blog or message board in the wrong hands can seriously damage someone's reputation. The examples given in this chapter show how blogs have essentially won political elections, while other times, other forms of media have cast the winning vote. Although the web and other technologies are definitely making a breakthrough in the political spectrum, I think it will be some time before both left & right wings learn to use the net to their ultimate advantage. And then the web will be poisoned, just like other mediums touched by politics.

Posted by KatherineLambert at November 14, 2005 03:23 PM
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