Are we the media?

Discussion in 'Free Speech Alley' started by Bengal B, Oct 6, 2003.

  1. Bengal B

    Bengal B Founding Member

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    I see posts on this and other sites all the time saying "The media dosen't respect LSU" and people bitching about the liberal media and the right wing media, yada yada yada. In the era before the internet the "media" was TV, radio, magazines and newspapers and was distinctly separate from us "the people"
    Since it is now posible for anybody to state their opinion, argue their point, spread rumors, diseminate lies and disinformation or to tell the God's only Truth as they see it, does that make us all "members of the media"? Anybody with a computer and at least a dialup connection can say whatever they feel like it for all the world to see. The readership of any post on a forum like this one is limited only by the popularity of the website and the number of people who click on it. Sure, most websites have an audience confined to the demographics of the level of interest in the sites focus but didn't Matt Druge become a paid member of the "media" only because of the popularity of his website? Tigerforums is a site devoted to LSU sports that also includes the Alley section devoted to political discussion. While Tigerforums is of interest mostly to fans of LSU and opponents of LSU thousands of people worldwide read what we post every day. All of us are free to put up any website we want and do whatever it takes to attract viewers and members. Sure, the networks and cable media as well as every magazine and newspaper all have their own websites but they are much less interactive than forums such as this one. Anybody who reads what I have just said can instantly respond with a "Hey, you're right" or a "You're full of sh*t" Try that on Larry King's or Bill O'Reillys sites and see if it ever gets posted.

    We have met the media and it is us.
     
  2. Biggles

    Biggles Founding Member

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    Interesting thoughts....

    While the ability for the common man to get information is certainly expanded with the Internet, 24 hour news and talk radio, does the common man look to learn more, make decisions or intelligent choices or just to reinforce beliefs already engrained in personal ideologoy and philosophy?

    I'd conclude in 95% of people rather than inform the information just reinforces ideology.

    And this society has turned into a "short attention span/immediate gratification" world.

    Ecellent post...
     
  3. TigerEducated

    TigerEducated Founding Member

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    The media is not us...

    Like it or not, radio has declined greatly since the advent of television and especially since the internet. There are more mediums through which to gather information, of that I can assure you, but we are not the media.

    I can guarantee you that the media does use these sights as an incubator for stories. I can tell you that LSU's Sports Information Department uses this site and others to see what LSU fans are thinking (they also have to take it with a grain of salt, because they realize most LSU fans do nothing but read papers and occassionally listen to the radio-this is something that only fans who are REALLY into it do, from what I can understand...LOL)...

    It's the same with political forums or non-topic forums. Reporters and talk show hosts regularly glean subject material from these forums, and I can provide proof, but it's from my time on another site, so I'll digress there....

    Needless to say, I can remember having political discussions, and then having someone on WJBO in Baton Rouge on 1150AM discussing it the next morning at their first topic. Using my points almost word for word...and rebutting with my opposite in the argument's EXACT words, as well.

    With the advent of mass media, you see places like Bruly's Oak Tree, or the local corner store, or the "strip" in Denham Springs or James' Drug Store in Downtown Denham becoming less and less important...

    What I mean is, the Brusly Oak, the "strip" and the Drug Store were all latter day meeting places. On your way home, in the early afternoon, or during the day on the weekends, people from the surrounding areas would gather there and talk amongst themselves on any number of wide-ranging subjects.

    With forums such as these becoming more prevalent, and those places becoming more historical landmarks and antiquing villages more than meeting places nowadays, you are merely seeing a replacement of what people have always craved.

    Good discussion is what this place provides and facilitates. It's on a wider scale, and people from around the world can access it, you're right...But, it's just like hearing something at the Brusly Oak, then going home and calling your friend long distance. Only, your friend never got the call, and you never went to the Brusly Oak to hear it. You never left hom, and neither did they...The internet just takes out the middle man in the conversation...

    Do I make any sense with this whatsoever?
     
  4. Bengal B

    Bengal B Founding Member

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    All that is true but dosen't the fact that people read what we post on the web make us at least in some limited fashion "the media"? Whether 50 people or 10 million read it and no matter whether they are informed, entertained, bored or disgusted every post by anybody on the internet has the potential to influence somebody somewhere in some way. For a few years I owned a site where we gave members free email like yahoo and hotmail do. We also gave members free website space. Our goal was to build up membership and either take it to an IPO or to sell it to one of the biggies the way yahoo paid $5 billion for geocities.com It never worked out that way but after a few years of headaches we had built up a substantial membership and ended up selling the site for a decent profit even though we didn't end up becoming internet billionaires. Our site had links to all kinds of news, sports, weather, auctions and we had chat rooms and dating site links and all kinds of stuff. I think that made us members of the internet media. Not as big as the big sites but as much as somebody who publishes a small town newspaper is in the media even though he is not as widely read or as influential as the publisher of a big newpaper like the New York Times. By the same token just as people post statements on web forums a lot of people write letters that are published in a newspaper or a magazine. Whether the opinions of the web posters and letter writers are ridiculed or supported the fact is that they have the potential to influence at least a small portion of public opinion in either a positive or negative way. So dosen't that make all of us who post something on an internet forum or write a letter that gets published in a newspaper unpaid members of the media?
     
  5. TigerEducated

    TigerEducated Founding Member

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    It's a less oragnized community that's stretched over farther reaches than a localized community...

    It's the same concept of community, only stretched out via the use of technology.

    I could mail someone or phone my friends something I heard at the downtown meeting place while watching a checker's game...Just as you can e-mail what you heard here to all your friends...

    It's not a localized community, but it seems like you reach more people since the community reaches people in far away places...

    Look at it like this...

    I'm in Denham Springs posting this. If I hear something from this forum or post something on it, probably only good friends might hear about it later.

    On the other hand, if you heard something back in the old days of communication, everyone in Denham Springs new in a short period of time, and their friends, and so on...

    The saturation in my community from this forum is not as complete as the old forms of communication would have been.

    Where this new idea of community conquers the old idea is not in saturation, or the amount of eyes and ears that see it. I think that while the potential is there for millions, the reality is about the same.

    The new idea conquers the distance factor...

    An idea that inundates the Denham Springs are using old ideas of communication had only the potential of impacting a localized area, but saturating that localized area.

    The new idea doesn't saturate, but gets flung to further reaches as compared to olden times...
     
  6. Bengal B

    Bengal B Founding Member

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    OK, TE lets say I go to a bar and one of my unwired friends tells a joke. Say 7 people including myself hear it. Three of those who hear the joke don't have computers but they tell the joke to several of their friends. Some of those friends are unwired but they each tell the joke to a few of their friends, some of whom are wired and some of whom are not. The joke still spreads by word of mouth just as it always has. Those of us with internet access not only retell the joke to other people both wired and unwired but we forward it to several people and a few of us post it on one site or another. The joke still spreads thoughout the community the way it always has and reaches its local saturation level but the fact that a few people post it where it may be seen and posted and forwarded to a lot of others and then reposted and reforwarded may not give the joke worldwide saturation but the joke is diseminated to a much huger potential audience much faster than if it were simply told verbally and retold verbally. Your theoretical local saturation level in Denham Springs or Brusly is still reached by word or mouth but the joke reaches local saturation levels in many other local communities by word of mouth spread by those who saw it on the internet and also continues to be spread to many outside of the various local communities. The traditional methods of community information disemination still exists but due to the internet the number of communities that reach the saturation level for the same information are much more rapidly multiplied.
     
  7. TigerEducated

    TigerEducated Founding Member

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    It's really an interesting conversation...

    I went and looked up media...which has no definition by which it would apply to what we're talking about...Medium itself has a subdefinition of media, which is applicable also...It's kind of confusing...

    pl. media Usage Problem.
    A means of mass communication, such as newpapers, magazines, radio, or television.
    media (used with a sing. or pl. verb) The group of journalists and others who constitute the communications industry and profession.

    I think that's a satisfactory explanation. The media are considered professionals, who are credentialed and "allegedly" trusted members of a profession. They must adhere to standards, or-like Jayson Blair of the New York Times-they are forever tarnished, and their ability to seek to make a living using the media is forever inhibited.

    We are not professionals. For the most part, we are anonymous individuals brought together in a far-flung community that bases on an interest in politics of a Louisiana flavor and LSU Sports in general.

    We are not credentialed, recognized, or to be trusted. It's part of the pitfalls of this Information Age. The stories and theories and allegations tossed around out here are totally unsubstantiated for the most. They cannot be corroborated, or can they be verified. Most importantly, the allegations come from anonymous sources...

    The media attaches a name behind its stories...and we don't....
     
  8. Bengal B

    Bengal B Founding Member

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    The concept of what exactly constitutes a "member of the media" is very interesting. Due to the relative anonymnity of our chosen nom de plume member names for all anybody knows you could be Tom Brokaw and I could be Dan Rather. Unlike professions that require licensing to be considered a member of the profession such as the legal or medical profession, credentials are accorded to those in the journalistic profession simply because those persons have managed to get a job with a recognized deseminator of information. I don't recognize the New York Times to be a reliable source of the truth but many people do. Even the Times is aware that they have to adhere to certain standards. Thats why they finally pulled the plug on Jayson Blair. But what about the National Enquirer or the Weekly World News who can publish any kind of trash they want and there are a certain number of the gullible public who will accept it as the truth?
     
  9. CalcoTiger

    CalcoTiger Live Long and Prosper IVI

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    I would differentiate media as someone who is getting paid to relay or inform. That would be the difference i see.

    But in any case the distribution of information that is true or untrue is always in the judgement of the person recieving the information.

    Anyone who believes all that is written is a fool. Some people actually believe everything written in a newspaper. Like you said it is all written by the viewpoint of the person doing the story.

    Ask the 60 minutes folks on CBS if they have ever slanted a story to say what they wanted when the facts with all the information may have totally changed the outcome of the interpretation.

    Thats my 2 cents anyway.

    Geaux Tigers
     

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