In 50 years we’ve gone from 3 major TV stations, daily newspapers, radio and a handful of big city newspapers to a billion-voice internet media which has now completely subsumed the former media empire. Today every voice must compete with a dizzying number of TV channels, the decline of national and local newspapers and a multi-billion blogsiphere, web and tweet-world. The entire information age is upside down.
At the bottom level are blogs; wordpress has over 65 million of them, combined with web sites, and other platforms, not to mention the forbidden Chinese blog world. The real news is at this level, and I suspect the really creative world as well. On top of that still remains the school systems, hopelessly behind in both practice and effectiveness. It is top-down bureaucratized, while the blog world enjoys complete freedom of expression. On top of that are books and trendy magazines.
We can ignore the celebrity stuff, and as influential as they are, the home, garden and food sites. On top of that we have a handful of TV stations who find they cannot compete with anything lower, and often time unable even to compete with each other. Like the famous pyramid on the dollar, the top of the pile, New York Times, CBS, ABC etc, have an eye now blinded. The Grey Lady (NY Times) in fact does no long deal with black and white. All issues are grey and the circulation figures show) as do the Nielsen ratings for TV) that no one much is watching or listening or reading them anymore. The New York Times was once called the newspaper of record. It is so slanted now that the Wall Street Journal is considered much more reliable as well as the Washington Post and the Washington Times. Politicians are hampered by the public ignorance of even basic facts about the modern world, while scandals and speculation pose as news.
The balkanization of information is actually a blessing. Major media voices have lost public trust as indicated by the Nielsen ratings of TV shows. Check out TV by the Numbers.
The only invention we now need is the ability to watch internet programming on our wide screen TVs. Pricey cable should be dead by then. Of course we will be confused. Everyone will have a different version of “the facts” and the major voices telling us what to believe will be quieted. But I see this as progress. Dictatorial leaders will not be able to control the media, which is one thing all dictators try to do, and the voice of the people can be better heard. And so can the voice of God.