Friday, January 16, 2009

More worrying signs for democracy in this new media age

Two articles that worry me greatly as we move to this new media environment.

Andrew Grant Adamson reflects on the decision of Archant to cut a further 20 jobs from the East Anglian Daily Times and the Evening Star in Ipswich.

Several hundred people packed the Debenham High School assembly hall with with more unable to get in.
I saw no sign of a reporter from the EADT but he could have been one of the late arrivals at the back of the hall. At the end of the meeting I saw no reporter checking facts with speakers.
and he continues

The following morning there was no story in the EADT about the meeting which had called to hear local opinion on calls from Debenham Leisure Centre for a bail-out from the parish council. As a proportion of the council’s tiny budget it would be larger than the Government’s rescue of the banks. £25,000 a year for a place with a population of 2,000 is a lot of money to raise by taxation.

So what are local papers for if they fail to report on this sort of event? I totally agree with Andrew when he says that

It is sad that a debilitated media is becoming unable to provide the lubrication democracy requires.

Then on the same subject we see Jay Rosen who explains why the Internet Weakens the Authority of the Press

He maintains that in the age of mass media the press was able to define the sphere of legitimate debate with relative ease because the people on the receiving end were atomized-- connected "up" to Big Media but not across to each other. And now that authority is eroding.

According to Jay we are not
allowing ourselves to think politically.Deciding what does and does not legitimately belong within the national debate is—no way around it

No comments: