Not to be obvious, but I can definitely feel a big change happening in the media.

The way we get our 'information' has always been/is evolving, but right now I feel a major shift. I feel it deep in my bones.
And it's making me excited...

I can't wait to go back to San Francisco.*

Do you think it's changing? If so, how?

*I'm just really excited for this upcoming project, which happens to be in SF.
It's more the project than SF itself.


allie said...

is your perspective possibly changing b/c you live in the dc/metro area?
i loved moving to fredericsburg not b/c of f-burg's paper but b/c we got the wash post. it was like, AT LAST, i could read the paper without feeling dumbed down or manipulated.
philly's inquirer is supposedly rather liberal on the continuum of papers, but still what it chooses to report and dismiss still convinces me that we haven't really changed.
as for tv media, i think newsreporting has basically gone down the tubes a LONG time ago. their poor reporting of the war, politics, and world events (and instead reporting about britney and kevin) made me turn off the tv many years ago.
i get my news from NPR radio, which generally is rather balanced (WHYY in philly), but still a bit left leaning. i think as long as we're aware of the leanings of our media, we're at least on the right foot and can keep our minds open as well as censor ourselves accordingly. but i think we the american people are NOT getting consistent, truthful, and balanced news and generally most people are not aware of this. i think that in itself is a major problem.

emilie said...

well, first i wouldn't say my perspective is changing because of the washington post. i actually don't read that too much, except for their daily tabloid, the Metro Express, which they hand out at the metro stations. other than that, i mostly listen to morning edition from NPR and read the NYTimes daily/Sunday. And I actually don't get TV so TV news and I parted ways a while ago.

I understand your opinion about the state of news in general. I believe it has something to do with the 24-hour news cycle as well as the fragmentation of viewership/readership/listenership.

Which is what I was getting at: I think people are able to choose now, more than ever, very specifically, from where it is they get their news and media/information/entertainment in general.

In addition, I feel a shift not only to more personalized media, but the 'yeomanification' of it all. Everyone can now be a journalist (blogs) and information is becoming, in a sense, extremely portable (iPods, etc).

And I think this is totally awesome.
And I have a strong desire to be riding that wave of change in my upcoming media endeavor.

Spooner said...

With this 'yaomanification' the sources with which we may gather our news has grown exponentially, but I wonder about the state of media in general. We were already a USA Today type of society (the sort of inch deep mile wide stories), more prone to ADD quick-fixes rather than any sort of depth, so does this influx of sources make us even worse in this regard? (I say this a someone with 1.3 blogs)With all the options, we don't have to hear the other side anymore--we are getting away from "fair and balanced" (don't sue me Fox) news in favor of finding sources that agree with our predetermined opinions. It's the difference between reading the Washington Times and the Washington Post--try it sometime it's funny. I guess my question to you, dear Em, is in this day and age, how plausible is it to attempt to provide news for both sides, or do we abandon that idea entirely? Is it better to know the leanings of your media source than have them hide it?
I'm going to go blog about something, stake my opinion on my little slice of virtual real estate.

Spooner said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
emilie said...

Let's break this down.

News is supposed to be "what's going on right now."
What people decide to report is where the bias factor comes in, because choice/discretion is involved.
For example, and like Michael Moore pointed out in "Bowling for Columbine," the Canadian news reports on things like potholes or new community gardens.
Perhaps more "positive" than crime, fires and death, it's still "biased" towards what those news directors believe is newsworthy.

Obviously when the news is "tied" to the free market, it has to produce a successful "product" if it wants to earn those advertising revenue dollars.
Even if it's "public" radio or TV it has to appease what its supporters (the listener/viewer) want to be covered.

You ask:
"How plausible is it to attempt to provide news for both sides, or do we abandon that idea entirely?"
Not only is this a leading question (it makes the answer have to be either 'plausible' or an admission that we've 'abandoned the idea'), but a good one.
I think it's completely plausible for news to cover both sides, if that's what the listener/viewer wants.

"Is it better to know the leanings of your media source than have them hide it?"
Obviously it's better, but who's going to admit "Our media is liberal" or "Our news covers conservative goings-on in a positive manner"?

Should a news organization's "leanings" be defined by that organization, or by outside organizations, like it is now?
What makes a media outlet "liberal" or "conservative" in the first place?
Using traditional definitions of the terms, "liberal" media would be covering a vastly wide array of topics with an equally-as-vast range of angles, sources, commentary and such.
"Conservative" media would cover the basics using only strictly-factual information.
In this light, every news media I've seen is by nature "liberal."

Getting back to the issues at hand, the yeomanification of media and information makes it ironically possible for
A) many more perspectives to be added to our daily choice
and, at the same time,
B) the prospect that people could become even more narrow-minded

My solution, like everything, lies in personal choice.
And don't get me wrong, I've wrestled with the devil's-advocate query of "but how can uneducated people tell the difference? Aren't they being manipulated/taken advantage of? They don't really have a choice"

Perhaps, but in a sense that's not my problem.
My problem is producing good news or being a good teacher and hope that my good/educational programming reaches out to a thirsty mind somewhere.
Of course what I think is "good" or "educational" is, by nature, biased, and that's why you can either listen to it or not.

I've reached a point here in this comment where my original post began:
the "media" is such an interesting concept:
regular ol' people "informing" other regular ol' people about some thing or another.
The way this is happening is changing, and I think it's completely fascinating.

Might I also add here that all of this is why, in my mind, spelling, punctuation and grammar are so very important, even in personal web logs. Contrary to some's opinion, by attempting to correct these things I'm not trying to be annoying or nitpicky.
Perhaps it has to do a little with my inherited eye for detail--not my fault.
But more importantly, it just keeps some sort of 'standard' running through the ba-gillions of data out here in bloggerland.