A pro-media blind spot
Monday, April 02, 2007 by Dave Winer.
Listening to this week's On The Media, they had a segment on cartoonists, and why it's so bad that we are losing so many of them as the newspaper industry shrinks. I like cartoons very much, but I was struck by something else in the piece. They were talking about cartoonists testing the limits of where they could go, and listed a bunch of topics that were taboo, and one of them was the publishers of newspapers. Then I remembered, a few years ago I was on a campaign to expose this blind spot, and got absolutely nowhere.
6/6/02: "If everyone says a journalist is really nice, I take that as a clear warning that this supposed journalist is actually playing footsy and selling out his readers. As readers, we have gotten very complacent about this."
My point then is that the media industry is enormously important to our economy and political system, but we have almost no visibility into how the money flows, and who makes the decisions. Only recently, as the industry has been firing reporters, have some of the editorial people had the guts to look at their bosses. And aside from interviewing reporters the rest of us have no way in there (and we know how reporters feel about bloggers).
This is just a reminder, there are a lot of places we don't look, but if we did, we'd see our strings being pulled all the time, in so many ways. Ever wonder who decides that we should get a steady diet of Anna Nicole Smith while World War III is breaking out in the Middle East? I do.