[LINK] A strange impact on politics, of the Information Age

Richard Chirgwin rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Sat Feb 25 18:26:13 AEDT 2012

I wonder if there ever *was* a "golden age" of journalism, Frank. There 
have been good editors and publications and journalists, and bad ones; 
they often exist at the same time, sometimes in the same publication, 
sometimes in the same person.


On 25/02/12 4:51 PM, Frank O'Connor wrote:
> Yes and no,
> One thing you do get with the information age is immediacy ... you watch/listen/read as it happens.
> Whether it's actually happening is, of course, another question.
> The downside of course is that this (and competition from other sources) means that traditional news and media outlets are under pressure to perform. So stories are concocted, manufactured and constructed on the fly, the press itself becomes the news by airing unsubstantiated opinions and ideology masquerading as fact and truth, the idea that sources and stories should be verified has gone by the board, opinion counts as fact, and fact becomes more ethereal and inconsequential, the thirty second sound bite becomes all, the daily media timetable must be catered to, Public Relations and press releases are uncritically accepted as bonafide news content, 'paid for' stories become de riguer, trite gossip and 'celebrity news' become premium content, the news garnering machine embraces corruption and bribery to acquire said content ... etc. etc.
> As I've said before ... we don't live in the Golden Age of Journalism.
> The political parties? The pollsters are so far up their collective asses that they don't dare do anything without consulting them (whether or not the poll's methodology, constructs and content actually holds up to scrutiny or not). Government is no longer something that's done to a rational plan ... it's management by the panic that the pollsters can cause the politicians.
> Maybe we'd be better off going back to the Athenian idea of democracy, and have any interested member of the public drop black or white stones into big jars to vote any policies the government is trying to pass. (Of course that lent itself to corruption and political manipulation by the rich and powerful like you wouldn't believe ... but the Australian pollsters and PR firms are used in much the same way anyway, so what would be the effective difference?)
> 										Regards,
> ---
> On 25/02/2012, at 4:21 PM, David Boxall wrote:
>> <http://www.canberratimes.com.au/opinion/political-news/we-need-to-talk-about-kevin-20120224-1ttxx.html>
>>> ...
>>> Strangely, the information age seems to have made grasping the truth of things harder. The shrinking of the broad base of political parties, their failure to tell stories that inspire and ring true, the increasing lack of penetration of the serious media, the rarity of deep analysis told in a compelling way, the 60-second YouTube videos  ...
>> -- 
>> David Boxall                         | "Cheer up" they said.
>>                                      | "Things could be worse."
>> http://david.boxall.id.au            | So I cheered up and,
>>                                      | Sure enough, things got worse.
>>                                      |              --Murphy's musing
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