November 13, 2005

Informal Oral Presentation - "We the Media"

"In the 20th century, making news was almost entirely the province of journalists; the people we covered, or "newsmakers;" and the legions of public relations and marketing people who manipulated everyone."
-Introduction, page XIII

"The economics of publishing and broadcasting created large arrogant institutions - BIG MEDIA"
-page XIII

From this mentality, came news as a "lecture." Big media told you WHAT the news "was." Didn't like it? TOUGH. Yeah, you could turn off the TV or write a letter to the editor, but unless it actually affecte profit, your complaints = nothing.

You = nothing.

Now, YOU can be the journalist, YOU have the voice.

Question 1) What are some of the ways in which you can have your voice heard?

Question 2) What are some reasons why this is not happening on an even larger scale?

As page XV says, "our worst enemy may be ourselves."

Corporate journalism is squeezing quality for profits. What creates profits? SENSATIONALISM. SEX AND VIOLENCE. Rapid-Fire MTV style edits... combine that with a society that is too complacent, lazy and apathetic to a reality outside of their own desires for commodity or desires to be LEFT ALONE and you can understand.


Pages 2-3 provide a decent background of American media revolutions, focusing upon the "Yellow Journalism" of the media barons Pulizer and Hearst. In the 19th century, the newspaper dominated American news, however there was not a concern for objectivity, and were often slanted/biased towards the politics of their owners.

Eventually, this reached a breaking point and "MUCKRAKERS" began to expose reality - such as anti-competitive business practices, poor labor conditions and the underexposed or coverups within American society.

However,the Corporate Era emerged - this is the essence of capitalism, although corporate stranglehold over media and governmental influence to "print the right things" transforms the "free market" into fascism.


Page 5 reveals that during the 60's and 70's, big media used news/journalism as prestige, "voices you can trust." Local news preferred to lure viewers and revenue through violence and entertainment.... in other words, "IF IT BLEEDS, IT LEADS."

-Unfortunately most people accept this "news" without considering "WHAT EXACTLY" they are being told! As companies consolidate, swallowing smaller outlets, whether TV or newspaper, corporate journalism flourishes, creating "cookie cutter" news.

However, a new media rebellion was in the winds... the early 80's dawned the cyber-revolution through the use of BBS's and affordable desktop publishing. The establishment of big media began to unravel. The people could express themselves like never before, although it wasn't until a few years later where this technology would become universal.

The birth of the WWW in 1991 revolutionized the "grassroots journalism" culture. Now anyone could essentially WRITE into the internet, by publishing documents as webpages. The new browser technology and HTML language made this easy- search engines and directories were created and a global medium was truly born.


9/11/01 woke America from a social slumber in more ways than one. Yes, our nation was attacked, but unlike Pearl Harbor, the world was WATCHING and INTERACTING. Blogs provided an outlet, the ability to share experiences, loss, anger, conspiracies and to connect us with others. We no longer had to sit idle, watching the news. We could REPORT in our own way, to the world.

We have POWER. We are all newsmakers and news reporters. However, REVOLUTION without RESPONSIBILITY is FRUITLESS. Use technology. Use technology to better the world, in your own way.

The world is watching, waiting.

This is FREEDOM!

Posted by MichaelSichok at November 13, 2005 01:36 PM

Great presentation, Mike. You seemed totally within your element; you were very relaxed and knowledgeable. The "if it bleeds, it leads" portion of your presentation prompted the following blog entry, which I would have posted as a comment but I had too much to say. If you have time--

Posted by: NancyGregg at November 14, 2005 01:33 PM
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