Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Blur discussion-Austin Thielen

Sorry this is posted so late, had a computer emergency.. :(
turns out that thinkpads are tough, but not enough to survive the 6' fall from a bed

Walter Lippmann, a cofounder of a magazine in the 1920s, worried about the reach of the media's gatekeeping effect. America's strong capitalism was being challenged by the rise of Bolshevism in Russia. Lippmann attributed this largely to the gatekeeping actions of each country's media. The citizen's were told what issues were important and what they should be informed about. Contrasting this, Kovach and Rosenstiel say that we now "consume news now by topic and by story, and less by relying on the judgment of news institutions to select [these topics] for us." But, although we choose what we learn about, many Americans repeatedly get the same biased side of each issue. In an age of technology where we have abundant sources for contrasting opinions on each issue, why do many people refuse to compile information from multiple sources? Is the media gatekeeping effect still powerful and relevant, or are people just lazy?

As seen in the past two presidential elections, a lot of information that we receive does not still come from the main media sources. President Obama's Youtube channel was viewed more than a billion times during the 2008 election. So, Kovach and Rosenstiel call for the "next journalism." Previously, consumers didn't really have a choice but to listen to the press. But, now, we have options, so the press must "serve the more active citizen." Do you think that the increased competition against traditional media will in turn make it more reliable and honest?

The authors talk about the increasing importance of editors. Although information is widely available on the internet, it often doesn't go through the same editing and refinement processes that newspapers or other traditional media do. This level of quality takes money, though. If the delivery method for these quality news sources was the internet instead of the traditional newspapers, would they fail if the service wasn't free? Why are people accepting of paying for quality information on television and in print, but are reluctant to do so when it is available on the internet?

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