Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Bloggers (alternative news media) vs. MSM

We will all be better off in the long run, if the MSM stonewalls the story of Eason Jordan's slanderous remarks.

Earlier this week, I wrote that the MSM isn't likely to run stories on Eason Jordan no matter what the blogosphere does. A lot of prominent bloggers keep predicting that the dam is about to break because a few cable shows have discussed Jordan's comments. I guess I just don't understand how the mechanism works that is supposed to pressure the MSM to cover this story.

Is it shame and embarassment? Bloggers eventually get enough Americans to pay attention that the MSM feels embarassed that they don't cover it? Sorry, that didn't work in the '90s even when tens of millions were aware of extremely important stories (far more important than this one).

Competitive pressure? Don't make me laugh.

Actually, there is a more important issue which is raised by the hue and cry from blogs for the MSM to cover the story. Why do we care whether they provide coverage? Sure, we would all like to see a fair, honest, balanced news media. But we don't have one, not even close. And we aren't likely to get one until the technological revolution is much farther along.

Let's face it. Rathergate, in the end, was a major positive step in furthering the evolution of the news media. The old dinosaur media is not going to change willingly. They are going to have to be dragged kicking and screaming. Some will end up in the trash heap. The smarter and more nimble ones will change before they are destroyed.

At this stage of the revolution, the only way to have progress is to assist in the destruction of those news media brands which are most egregious in their partisan slanting and misreporting of the news. News consumers will only get better, more truthful reporting when the worst of the liars and frauds have been destroyed. Not just exposed, but financially ruined (or at least severely hurt).

If the MSM fully covered Eason's fables, it would certainly hurt CNN. Perhaps they would even replace him. But it wouldn't change their slanted coverage. By not covering this important news, however, every single brand of the MSM is implicated. The day of reckoning will come sooner, if they stonewall.

A stonewall only strengthens the blogosphere and alternative sources of news. It clearly weakens the MSM. If this stonewall motivates internet news entreprenuers to work harder to construct the news organizations of the future, we will all benefit.

Our focus should be as much on getting the story out and reaching the audience as it is on pressuring the MSM to do a better job. The way to get the MSM to pay attention is to beat them at their own game. Encouraging readers on the net to e-mail the story to their friends will pay bigger dividends in the end than encouraging them to write CNN.


Blogger Glen said...

OK. Can we now finally stop calling them the "mainstream" media? It seems to me that they stopped being "mainstream" back in November. How about calling them "legacy" media or "conventional" media? Anything but MSM...


1:32 PM, February 09, 2005  
Blogger Maggie said...

How about we call them the "Old Media" .. like Old Europe...they are full of dinosaurs!

What I think is great is the ever increasing number of bloggers appearing on the TV or in radio interviews! Although our numbers are growing, we need to let more Americans know we are here. Then watch a real revolution!

9:03 AM, February 10, 2005  

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