Sunday, December 21, 2008

Old Vs. New Media : Peace in Our Time?

Neville Chamberlain, the former British Prime minister who declared in 1938 that there would be "peace in our time" because he and Hitler came to an agreement regarding which small countries the British would let the Nazis victimize. Here Chamberlain holds up a copy of the treaty signed by Hitler as "proof" of peace.


Sir Winston Churchill, one of the most unpopular public figures in Britain in 1938. His warnings that the Nazis would not stop their aggression were widely ignored until events proved him correct.
Hitler used the respite to consolidate his power before striking.

So am I saying that the Old Media are Nazis? No. They are the bad guys, but they are not that bad. Here is what I AM saying.......(on the jump, click SUNDAY below and scroll down).


Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

There is not going to be peace between the old media and the new, because the fundamental reasons for the rise of blogger corps has not and will not change. The corporate media is going to ignore important stories, squelch valid viewpoints, and continue to attempt to bully people into line. They will not stop attempting to dictate who is and is not an acceptable candidate for public office for example.

The failure of the traditional media to fairly represent important viewpoints (I go farther and say they have attempted to suppress them) is what has empowered the alternative media. The old media may decide to adopt some of the tools and technologies of the new media, but I see no sign at all that they want to change the purposes for which these tools will be put to use.

At first glance the battle between a handful of amateur bloggers and a state-wide or even regional newspaper may seem like an absurd mismatch. In most areas of straight reporting, it is, but not in the area of opinion journalism. And now we see television reporters like Kristin Fisher who seamlessly weave online and broadcast reporting. The old print people were beginning to feel isolated.

The papers have a huge built-in audience, but they also have high fixed costs and low profitability. Their credibility is their stock and trade. They can't afford to lose credibility to even a minority slice of the population. Sure much of the population has distrusted papers, but now the rise of the blogosphere has legitimized and re-enforced that incredulity.

So what are they to do? Well they first tried doing what they always do- bullying people by writing negative stories about them. That worked great in the days when no one else could get their side of the story out. It backfired big-time in the case of Kristin Fisher, who has her own platform and the united backing of the alternative blogosphere. When lead print media character-assassin John Brummett tried his old tricks he got counter-punched big time. He was hit three ways- hard, fast, and continuously.

The new balance of power called for new tactics. Or rather, tactics that have been used before in history, but new to this situation.


9:32 AM, December 21, 2008  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

John Brummett makes nice. He has a congenial debate with Kristin Fisher and then writes a conciliatory column about her new media. Then he reaches out to the bloggers and writes a column where he names a few by name and recommends them to his readers. I am pleased to say that this blog was NOT one of those listed, and I present it to you as evidence that you should visit here regularly. This blog is one they would rather you not see!

This is not "peace in our time" but "divide and conquer". This is like Hitler reaching out to Chamberlain (NOTE: I am NOT saying that anyone is like Hitler, only that the TACTICS used fit that historical situation). Meanwhile, what is Brummett's newspaper up to? Why, they are changing their online format to make it a more direct competitor to the bloggers!

That is right humans, while the blogger-Chamberlains of the world are holding in their hands an article that speaks glowing words about them, the war machine is gearing up to take their territory. The papers are tired of bloggers getting readers by commenting on the paper's content. They want people to come to THEIR site now and leave the comments. They want the action on THEIR server.

They have every right to do that, but please don't call it "peace in our time". We can be civil, but there is a competition for ideas and readers and this is not going to change.

The pressure to play ball is subtle. They may never say to an up-and-coming blogger "quit going with stories like that and we will put a link to your blog on our site and say a good word about you now and then. Compromise and you can be A PLAYER". That won't be said openly. It will be subtle, and for that more effective.

In WWII Hungary and Romania actually fought on the side of the Nazis. They were not Nazis, they just found themselves with a powerful neighbor in a position to help or hurt them and they decided that the wanted the giant's favor. That is the problem with decisions that are not based on fundamental right and wrong but rather the convenience of the day.

Some in the blogosphere are ideological. They likely won't be swayed by such blandishments. Others simply use the popular discontent with the print media to get themselves an audience, but self-promotion is the real core of what they do. They will be susceptible to the lure.

If that is what they want then I have no objection, as long as everybody is honest about it. This will all sort itself out eventually. My fear is that the insiders will tire of competing in the free marketplace for readers and resort to the use of force- read government power and lawyers and such- to try to silence contrary voices.

10:04 AM, December 21, 2008  
Anonymous omg said...

so what, he was probley a nice man to his OWN kind like...german...or blue eyed blonde hair. i have blue eyes andd black hair and im not jewish soooo...yay!!!!

4:47 PM, November 16, 2010  

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