Thursday, March 16, 2006

Knight Ridder and the fate of MSM

Despite what media doomsayers say, I don’t think the sale of Knight Ridder heralds the end of the MSM. The media, like every other industry, is going through and evolution, but not necessarily and extinction. I love the wild, somewhat democratic feel of YouTube and the gobs of blogs that are out there, but few have the authority or reliability of the MSM. Blogs et al. are good for exploring ideas, rumors and opinions, but they are not so hot for really getting facts and information (with some very notable exceptions, of course).

Note that many of the bloggers who actually do provide valuable primary information are really MSM journalists in real life.

Also, the MSM is a primary source for information which bloggers use as fodder to provide comment and endlessly debate minute topic of interest.

Another thing is that bloggers do not provide more voices, but rather serve to further amplify existing voices… hence the “echo chamber” phenomena, which I think is the blogosphere’s dirty little secret.

The role of the MSM is to try to break down the walls of this echo chamber. It is this function that will save the MSM and keep it relevant to society.

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