Monday, March 4, 2013

Emergent Media

McNamara gets caught up in this idea of feedback and user generated content in his examination of emergent media. He’s critical of benefit of this idea but he focuses too much time on it.  The real change in emergent media is in its accessibility and the ease of of informing the end user or the multiplicity of news analysis rather than content creation. It’s ridiculous to consider a comments section at the bottom of a web page news and the same is true for the 2 billion videos viewed on Youtube each day.
I’m not sure there was ever an  ruling media class that controlled the news, their importance was in providing context of the event.  What has changed is the access to that context.
Now I can go to Scotus Blog where I can listen to the audio of last week's Supreme Court argument on the continued necessity of the voting rights act, but I can also get the amicus briefs, the petitioners brief, eventually the majority and dissent opinions and a hundred other resources about the case. CNN is offering me Donna Brazil’s opinion about the case, which is fine if all you have is passing interest in the case. But they can’t provide for all levels of interest in the case. We’ve broken the traditional media’s hold on context.  They used to be an information gatekeeper, that role is obsolete. There is still a prominent role in providing context of the event, but that is greatly diminished because it’s accessible from organizations that aren't considered traditional news sources. McNamara considers this point but he’s still focused on the idea that the masses will be providing the content and it’s not the case, unless the content is cat videos.

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