Sunday, June 6, 2010

Government's Role with "New Media": How about Net Neutrality?

I was skimming the media today, going through one of my favorite news sources, the Christian Science Monitor (@CSMNational on Twitter), when I stumbled upon this headline: "As 'new media' proliferate, does government have a role?"

I have to admit, I found myself wondering why anyone would ask this question. I realize the article says the FTC is looking at "information gathering" about what it could do to "help" new emerging medias, but really, what role does the FTC really have in media?

Now that we have eliminated the "fairness doctrine" for public radio waves, it isn't like anyone is focused on the role of journalism in society. Journalists are all but extinct. They have been replaced by i-reporters, pundits, Twitter, blogs, moderators, show producers, etc., all seeking ratings.

By the way, I have to admit this quote in the article made me laugh:
Adds Villanova University media expert, Leonard Shyles, “I’m not interested in having a state board decide who’s accurate. Let the marketplace decide, because I’m going to believe Joe Schmoe after I corroborate his story thru the mosaic of stories that are out there on the Internet now, not because a government agency says I should.”


I am not really sure that anyone really cares about what is accurate. Fox gets its ratings not for accuracy, but for conservativism. MSNBC takes a similar approach only to the left generally. CNN gets its ratings from creating drama and clash, not from accuracy. Let's face it, if we cared about accuracy, pundit journalism wouldn't rule the day. Having a person from the left and the right to define issues wouldn't be how we focused on reporting.

So to say the marketplace will determine journalism... that's just ignoring reality. The marketplace pays the most outspoken pundits the best, not the best journalists.

Maybe the answer is journalism is dead, for now. And what can government do for blogs? They really can't turn America into China, limiting content. Maybe the answer for government is ending Net Neutrality, that way Internet Corporations can insist that we pay to get on their network, and then charge people to get to us so they can get paid on both ends.

Instead of government controlling the "new media," it may well be corporations controlling them even more than they do today. How is that for one reason to support Net Neutrality?

1 comment:

Mattias Kroon said...

I don´t think journalism is dead, I believe that it always has been very hard for them to enough reflect objectivism and that they always have had some kind of spectacles.