June 02, 2004

Dave Winer vs Big Media (or getting routed and run-around)

Dave Winer details being routed by Big Media:

We're getting nowhere with The Guardian on the lack of proper disclosure in Ben Hammersley's story about the supposed "wars" in the RSS community. The editors take weeks to respond, when they do they say the same thing over and over, they think his conflicts were adequately disclosed, but they don't explain why.

This is the arrogance of big media. ...

It's an op-ed piece that's not labeled as such, and no opportunity was provided for an opposing point of view. ...

Without taking sides on the RSS wars, I tender my sincerest sympathies on struggles with the media.

The lesson is this: For all the talk of "We Media" or "participatory journalism" or "citizen reporting" or some such, it's real clear where control lies. What happens when the journalist decides to blow-off any challenge? (e.g. sneering "Are you high?" or the like?)

Again, let's do some numbers. The Guardian has a circulation of 1,172,000. That's one million plus. The power-law lives.

Journalistic arrogance arises from very straightforward rational principles: They don't care. They don't have to. Because in general, they will reach far more people than anyone they abuse, so they have no accountability, except to others of similar power. And in general, telling one's friends the story doesn't alter anything. Case in point :-(.

And note there's nothing in the blog world which changes this. Power is power.

[I nearly didn't post this message, because of the potential recursive application, but I decided the violent agreement elements would probably let me get away with it]

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in journo | on June 02, 2004 11:59 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
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I think you're extrapolating too much from a single data point. Any one instance of bad journalism may not be corrected by "little media" but over time, I do think that "little media" is having a profound effect on "big media."

Posted by: Ernest Miller at June 4, 2004 02:02 PM

The problem is that "profound effect" allows for great lattitude in interpretation. I'm not enthused about the wonders of being fodder, where the control of the story is firmly in the hands of "big media", and the function of "little media" is to be as pilot-fish under the sharks ("gee, look at all the little fishies herding food to me - isn't that great!")

And it's more than a single data point. Two words: Al Gore.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at June 4, 2004 09:40 PM