Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Fourth Estate

Let's be clear: I think a free press is critical. I also know that the print, audio, and video media in place today still reach many more people & still have a much bigger impact on them than the internets.* I'd also say that most of the big stories the blogsphere breaks would not exist without big media--even if they choose to ignore same stories--the blogsphere still gets much of it's material from someone who is getting paid by some 'big media' outlet somewhere. Internet versions of traditional media are thriving--but with low budgets & low revenues--and though this will change (and the death of 'old media' will help it along)--it will be a long time 'till reporters are livin' large off that internet money, if ever. I suspect, far in the future, that reporter, like musician, may become more of a part time job & a labor of love--and that might not be a bad thing.

but...the main stream press is irrelevant to me in the short term. Quite possibly it will remain that way forever.

Does anybody think, based on historic or economic trends that what is happening to newspaper circulation is going to reverse? Does anybody think in this time of 500 channels that any one network or cable news show (or even fake news show!) is ever going to dominate the ratings again? If you do, you're wrong.

The balkanization of news sources is the death knell (though it may take decades) for corporate news--the best strategy most of the surviving newspapers have today is 'shrink to profitability' which most, like, business types, will tell you doesn't happen...you just keep shrinking 'till there ain't nothing left.

As their budgets continue to shrink, they will continue to cut reporters, travel budgets, until all that is left is an 8 page half-sheet with a couple of stories from the AP and a bunch of coupons.

As the newspapers die, as network news becomes more and more a tiny demographic specialty show, the institutions that are rising now on the internet will take on more and more relevance, and I really think in twenty years or less, most people who care to get the news at all will get it on-line. My hope is that by then it will be a profitable enough business that some people can make a living at it--maybe a good many people. At the same time, I hope it doesn't make so much money that cash becomes it's raison d'etra--as I suspect those of you who are savvy realize what a corrupting influence cash has on the truth in any environment--no matter how ideologically pure.

& wouldn't it be nice in the meantime (here comes my vindictive socialist self--you won't see him much, pay attention) if the existing power structures in the fourth estate were shaken to their roots, that the fat cats, and power brokers, & the viagra loving pedophiliac drug-abusing pundits, and their equally slimy congresscritters found the whole business so unprofitable that they went and found another scam to run on us marks.

It would be nice, but it's not going to happen. The form of the republic is maintained, the better to lull us to sleep. Money drives all activity of relevance--follow the money and you will find who's in charge. It's not you & it's not me.

All is not lost--I think America as a concept can be rescued, and I think a vote for the Democrats next Tuesday can be a huge step toward reigning in the culture of greed currently informing the current occupant & his handlers. We might get to impeach the bastards--if the dems show a little backbone. We can throw out the worst of the worst--we can start repairing our reputation on the world stage & undoing our current lemming like rush towards extinction.

So, on Tuesday, go out and vote for the lesser of two evils (here's a small sample of the greater of two evils, if you need motivation)--but keep Wednesday open, that's when we have to start trying to repair the broken system that allows the kind of abuses we are suffering under.

* In case you are not aware, the internets are a series of tubes.


Blogger Causal said...

Do-It-Yourself Impeachment, no joke.
The Citizens' movement.

The day the nation demands impeachment is upon us. Sacks and sacks of mail are arriving in congress demanding impeachment via the House of Representative's own rules. This legal document is as binding as if a State or if the House itself passed the impeachment resolution (H.R. 635).

There's a little known and rarely used clause of the "Jefferson Manual" in the rules for the House of Representatives which sets forth the various ways in which a president can be impeached. Only the House Judiciary Committee puts together the Articles of Impeachment, but before that happens, someone has to initiate the process.

That's where we come in. In addition to the State-by-State method, one of the ways to get impeachment going is for individual citizens like you and me to submit a memorial. ImpeachforPeace.org, part of the movement to impeach the president, has created a new memorial based on one which was successful in impeaching a federal official in the past. You can find it on their website as a PDF.


You can initiate the impeachment process yourself by downloading the memorial, filling in the relevant information in the blanks (your name, state, etc.), and sending it in. Be a part of history.


9:02 AM  

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