Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Catching Up: On the Mainstream Media

I started this blog late in the game, so I'll post a few of my opinions on recent happenings in the blog world. My first is on the mainstream media's (MSM) response to the blogging phenomenon.

The mainstream media for decades has had a gentlemen's agreement that one media outlet not criticize another. I suppose this stems from the 'glass houses' aphorism. That lack of criticism has allowed the quality of the media and journalism to fall. Press releases are published verbatim, stories are not fact checked or simply made up, critical thinking has simply become a knee-jerk reaction against any authority. The media has come to think of itself as a political party.

For years, car makers, movie studios, book publishers, software products, and other industries have had to content with critics and consumer protection groups. And now, popular blogging has essentially become a form of media criticism. That change has been very difficult for old media owners and managers to handle. Protected from criticism for so long, the MSM now lash out at the new media rather than realizing that they must hold themselves more accountable.

The Internet and blogging are making information more transparent, and increasing the sophistication of media consumers. The mainstream media must come to accept critics and bloggers as necessary for improving the reprehensible state of today's journalism.

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