The lion’s share of the mechanism for disseminating information from professional news gatherers to readers is now handled almost entirely by a company with a frustratingly opaque method of operation and interests that don’t necessarily dovetail with news organizations or their readers. Publications haven’t just lost control over their distribution models to a decentralized collective — they’ve effectively ceded it to a 30-year-old Harvard dropout in a gray hoodie.
There might be something that could happen on this planet that would be bad news for journalists and still worthy of criticism on that account — but for the life of me I can’t imagine it. Better the migration of information control to a repulsive socio-technical cancer like Facebook, which pretty much everybody hates already, than a continuation of the smug news-management guild presently in power. Among the best parts of this, everyone gets to hear the super-amplified journalistic squealing as their class privileges drop off the cliff into historical oblivion. The inaudible death of the buggy-whip industry was nothing like this much fun.
One additional comic highlight I simply have to tag on here: “As we come on the midterm elections in November, a time when it is especially important to keep the public informed …” (Don’t these people have any idea at all what they sound like?)
Via Matt Simpson who notes acutely:
Someone's upset they don't control the ink barrel anymore http://t.co/pPuJke3zHa
— Matt Simpson (@themattsimpson) October 21, 2014
… and just one more snippet (it’s irresistible):
In the grand, idealistic sense, there are two core motivations behind a news organization doing political coverage at all. The first is to keep politicians honest. The second is to give the public a better idea of which politicians to vote for.
So the traditional media modestly restricts its ambitions to (1) controlling politicians, and (2) telling the electorate how to vote — but now the evil Internet is taking even this pitiful morsel of social influence away! If you’re not weeping tears of blood by this point, you’re probably beyond hope …
ADDED: Some media bias basics.
ADDED: “Lefties find 78% of news outlets to their taste, presumably because the content is provided by Lefties in the first place.”