19 August 2010

Via Via

During the 1980s, I felt I was at the centre of things. The media was exciting. I was young and I worked in television. London was the place to be for an ambitious girl from the provinces. I worked on prestigious and pioneering programmes. The media had power. The world was at my feet.

The Power Trip - An article in the Washington Post by Jonah Lehrer

To quote the above article:

"Contrary to the Machiavellian cliché, nice people are more likely to rise to power. Then something strange happens: Authority atrophies the very talents that got them there."

During the 1990s, I felt that I was rich. I had far more options than I had ever had before. Anything was possible. Australia was the place to be for a young married woman who felt no homesickness for a dreary, damp climate. The media was boring. Life was at my feet.

The Citizen’s Agenda in Campaign Coverage - A PressThink blog post by Jay Rosen

The above article suggest to journalists that they ask voters what they want election campaigns to be about and cover the issues raised.  What are your views on this?

During the 2000s, I began to experience freedom. I could make up my own mind without social pressures. I could choose to write and not feel guilty about my choice. My desire was to understand. The media was changing. Wisdom was at my feet.

Here I am today, an ordinary, unpaid blogger

I am the new media, and perhaps you are too. I do hope you will read the two articles I have linked above, especially if you are at all excited by power, wealth and influence. My hope is that the power of journalists, and media owners, is over. They have shaped too many electoral outcomes in the past and we are better off without their excessive influence over public opinion.

The profession of paid journalism may be over soon. At present, the role of news editors is diminishing, but I believe that a new career will arise, that of well-paid, democratic editorial professionals. These will be people with integrity, who seek out the best ideas, the best explanations, the best evidence, and condense that information for the public.

Perhaps those professionals will not work in "the media" in future. They may be employed by universities, or funded by a large number of universities. Their primary task will be to communicate information of importance to democracy, in a form that is understandable to the majority of voters.

Experiments with social entrepreneurship

One of my experiments as a social entrepreneur has been to find out if such an editorial role can be achieved independently, as a form of self-employment, without resorting to the use of mass advertising either to provide an income or to produce an audience. It is too early to say whether such an activity is viable in the long-term.

At present, there are plenty of options online for people to explore, to find information for themselves. But do most people know how to assess the worth of content? What are the skills required by someone who aims to have integrity at the task of assessing worthy sources? Perhaps you have arrived via Via to find some answers.

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