Tag Archives: journalism

Honor among meme’s…

media monopoly

This simple photo recently crossed my Facebook feed. At first blush it wasn’t hard to believe, and it instantly created a visceral disgust for media companies. I assume this was its intended purpose. But then, in the spirit of respecting not only the message, but my own independence of thought, I decided to do some research on this and get “the straight facts” as best I could.

The first thing I did was an internet search for anything I could find on this meme (see my earlier post on mimetics) and found an article by Ashley Lutz here on BusinessInsider.com which states that meme’s like this are “missing some key transactions. GE does not own NBC (or Comcast or any media) anymore. So that 6th company is now Comcast. And Time Warner doesn’t own AOL, so Huffington Post isn’t affiliated with them.”

Far from going any deeper on this meme, or its corresponding article, I wanted to discuss the inaccuracy in a lot of social media that we often take for granted as soon as we see it. I assume (dangerous I know) that most people saw the initial meme and grunted an expletive about “big brother” and moved on, the impression of it stuck in a small corner of their heads.

Im no apologist for corporate media, and personally choose to get most of my information from multiple independent sources, but this is troubling. Much like much of the mainstream news these days, it seems that its become simply slamming ones opponent and promoting ones own ideas, rather than sitting down and finding middle ground on anything.

This meme was at best factually incorrect, and at worst an exaggerated lie seeking to validate someones point. My argument is that perhaps its time to spend less time yelling at our neighbors to think the way we do, and more time listening to other points of view, lest we learn something new.

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Who are the journalists now?

After delving into an article by Jay Rosen entitled The Journalists Formerly Known as the Media: My Advice to the Next Generation, I found myself straining not to go down the rabbit hole of who is media. but after some deep thought on the subject, it occurred to me that the title itself isn’t the argument.

The concept of “I’m there, your not, let me tell you about it.” is a very prescient tool. This tells me that we are all journalists. Ever since one cave man poked another and pointed at the previously unseen mastodon herd, there have been “on the scene reporters” and this being said, the town crier of medieval Europe was a journalist.

when boiled down and concentrated, the phrase “we are legion”, is perfectly valid. There was a time when we looked to “professional journalists” and were content to let them bring us the news. But today most of us are unshackled from desks, and desktop computers. our phones carry more processing power than the entire apollo program and are no longer rotary and attached to the wall. I would argue that the term journalist, no longer implies a specific and rarified skill, but rather it is simply a descriptor for a degree title, because you have to call it something. The true sharing of information and reporting on current events is done by “we the people”.