When everyone is media no one is

Don’t know if this was mentioned here yet but if not… Dave Winer makes an interesting point about the evolution of journalism.

His point appears to be that today’s technology companies set up their own media outlets and hire their own journalists, thereby reducing the ability of journalists to criticize anyone. Not their own employer, certainly, but perhaps not even other potential employers, which by the premise may include basically anyone.

Basically reporters can only criticize people who will never employ them. That’s why their role is shrinking all the time. Wait until Best Buy buys out Engadget. Eventually reporters will only be able to take shots at bloggers, and probably Microsoft (because they seem to put up with it). Don’t try criticizing Steve Jobs, or even talking about him until he’s ready for you to.

One might extend this hypothesis to the PR departments of big corporations. They also need people with journalistic skills, and can probably pay them better than newspapers or magazines. Hmm…

It’s an interesting point, and we already see this happening in the free press, where they clearly don’t have as much freedom as they, or we, would like. Reporters are already obliged to be uncritical of their employer, or the political party that their employer has cosied up to. When their employer is someone like Fox New’s Rupert Murdoch, they have to be doubly careful, because of his media fingers are in many pies, and he is not a man to be crossed.

I don’t see that this is a particular problem, however, as long as people continue to value news outlets that are as free from distortion and bias as possible. I think recent scandals have shown the public to still be keen to this, but should they stop caring, then we can watch as our news feed becomes nothing but corporate marketing. At that point, you can turn to the blogs, and sort through those to find the most credible :).

There’s a reason they call it ‘selling out.’

hugs the BBC

It does strike me that it does at least act as a counter balance to the concerns above though it is not perfect by any means it does appear far more willing to be self critical than, say, any section of the Murdoch organisation (the S*n a few years back could be found inserting the Sky logo into any illustration featuring a TV set).

As Samantha Bee would say: Do you mind if I tell you how we do it in Canada?

The interesting thing up here is we have the CBC, which is publically funded, but tends to have the most controversial and critcal news going, particularly of the government. CBC Newsworld regularly shows documentaries from all over the world, with the BBC showing up frequently.

I always chuckle at the contrast when Lou Dobbs has those “In Their Words” segments, which pay lip service to external views, which often strike me as being chosen specifically for ironical, hypocritical or propaganda content. Mind you, that fits in just fine with US new media…

Another thing that sickens me is the way they’ve taken to putting that kind of rider at the end of some stories where they say “XYZ Inc is owned by ABC Corp, which owns this station”, which implies when that disclaimer is not present, there’s no connection or conflict. As if!

Clueless techno-utopian libertarian discovers media concentration is bad, heart stops

This isn’t happening where you live allready?
The best consumer journalists over here either feel so strongly about their subject that they run for public office or crosses over to a better paying job with the former “enemy”.

Most of the pr guys I deal with at the big it-corps are former journalists - even predecessors in my job.

But it’s not as bad as some will make it.
As long as there’s a healthy competition and people still buying free media as well as a population educated enough to look critical at stories and media ownership, all is well and there’s nothing new here.

But just like the BBC and CBC we too have a national tv/radio free of commercial and political influence with a public service statute mandated by law. Which is good.

If we didn’t have the Internet, corporate media consolidation would be far more of a worry.

Instead, regardless of your political ideology, you can now rest assured that hordes of like minded zealots are scrutinitzing every tidbit from the mouthpieces of the opposition looking for error. See! Bipartisan nickpicking for all! :lol: