Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How is Mainstream Media Rushing to Irrelevancy?

Dave Bressler, over at 1,000,000 miles and counting offered an interesting perspective on the Media's coverage of Sandy.  Dave lives in NYC in an area that was supposed to evacuate.  He chose not to.  Bad as the storm was, the Media's instance of portraying drama over reality made them unauthentic and meaningless.  What was helpful and meaningful were contacts through Facebook and Twitter.  This led Dave to question Mainstream Media's role going forward.

I agree that mainstream media's always been more interested in presenting what sells, not what's really happening.  However this has been getting worse and worse as media's position has declined.  To me, what's replacing Mainstream Media's place as a source for information is verified sources.  If someone I know says something, it has far more credibility.

What FB, Twitter, Blogs, email, etc., have done, is make it infinitely easier to remain in contact with a large number of people and to get "first hand" input from them about what is happening.

Sandy presented one example of this.  Today's election presents a second.  If you follow Nate Silver's fivethirtyeight blog, this election is not close and other than right after the first debate, it has never really been close.  But to hear the media talk about it, this election is too close to call.

As I write this, no one knows the results of the election, but if the election is a landslide (i.e. Obama wins more than 300 Electoral Votes), what does that say about independent writers with high name recognition (Fareed Zakaria, Nicholas Kristof for example) who continually peddle rubbish about the election being close?

Either they don't believe in basic research (check a blog dedicated to tracking election polling) or they are shilling to sell, truth be damned.

What exacerbates mainstream media's slide into irrelevance?  Named reporters who either don't believe in doing basic, simple research or who'll publish what they know if rubbish just to garner attention (and maybe sales).

Good riddance.