Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Media on Media on Politics

From this article:Ted Koppel, Anchor Provocateur (washingtonpost.com), you can read about the planning of ABC News & Ted Koppel on how to stir up debate and get better coverage of the Democratic presidential candidates.

It seems rather odd to me that I can read in a newspaper a story about the machinations of television journalism. The layering onion is unmistakable, and it all seems a bit in-bred.

I remember lamenting that there should be an objective source of information that gives a description of any politician's views, actions, and how both change over time. Then I remembered that this is the supposed function of the media, which clearly fails miserably because no source is objective, and all coverage is filtered.

This is one reason why the Internet is a important and blogs especially, if they manage to achieve a critical mass. With enough 1st person account of events, Big Media becomes less needed (e.g. imbedded journalists during combat in Iraq from dozens of news agencies are still not as interesting as the accounts of the soldiers themselves and their many blogs). With enough analysts taking on these events in a meta-level, the official views of any one source can be subjective, and the system still works.

One final ingredient would have to be the involvement of the electorate on a far more massive scale. I suppose this is a general problem with democracy, but hopefully the supply of information and its exponential growth rate can spur demand.

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