The President Has Been Kidnapped

A News blog about news and other such activities. I also talk about news and things.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Are blogs a threat to the mainstream media?

YES. I'll tell you why.

A long time ago, in Germany, this very sexy man called Karl Kraus wrote about the media.
Kraus is basically a much older, more conservative and more German version of people such as Noam Chomsky and John Pilger.

kraus believed that the news agenda setters replaced "the pure water of information, with the seductive perfume of the cliche".

Once the cliche is accepted by its readers, a gap appears that affects an event and its understanding by the public. Once this has happened a lie or propaganda can fill the gap and thus distort the public understanding of the news. This can be done to bend the will of the public to support whatever those in power like.

Kraus saw this first hand. Being around in Germany in the early nineteenth century, he predicted the Nazi party as a serious problem before anyone else. In 1927! And this was just based on their use of the media and propaganda to make people support their views.

So, in the present day, its quite clear to see that our media is just as dangerous. Vast empires are owned by few individuals. These few individuals have a lot of power. Until very recently, there was no alternative to this news. Whatever the papers or networks fed us, we had to digest.

Then the blog came along.

What the blog means for the average person is that they don't have to go to a certain place to get 'news' anymore. They can get it either straight from the source, or from someone they know/like. The Huffington post is a prime example of this.

It is now one of the prime sources of news in the US. Not tethered by any agendas, the bloggers can post about whatever they like and, potentially, give important issues a lot of attention that wouldn't normally see the light of day. This is giving lowly bloggers the power to make serious changes to the political landscapes of their countries.

China is a good example of this. Being a fairly closed country by western standards, their press is state run and foreign journalists are followed by 'minders' or 'translators'. This means that if there is a problem, we weren't hearing about it. The blog changed that. Effectively popping holes in the system. It is allowing people to see what is really going on for the first time and a new type of international pressure is being felt that wasn't there before.

The crackdown on Chinese bloggers helps this idea. If the government didn't think they were a threat, why are they shutting them down?

Blogs are a threat to the mainstream media. Some suggest that blogs will eventually replace them. Personally, I think ability to publish as freely as we do now will be taken away if such things come to pass.

In the future, we will all come in from work and turn on the TV news. There will be Mr.Swank, the current toupe endorsing favourite of old ladies everywhere. He will jabber on as he always has.

We will watch him as we eat dinner. Afterwards, we'll go onto the computer and try to pick up where we left Mr.Swank. In a few clicks, we are at the McBlog. Nothing will have changed.
Then our wives will come in and tell us that we have to walk the robo dog because its been hyper all day and all we ever do is sit on the damn computer...

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