Thursday, October 28, 2004


Why The Internet Arose to the News Challenge

In an interview last week Tom Brokaw said CBS News had clearly made mistakes. But, he said, "I think there were people just lying in the Internet bushes, waiting to strike, and I think that particular episode gave them a big opportunity."

But Mr. Brocaw,

IF your fellow journalists were doing what journalistic ethics said to do, which is to present the news fair and unbiased, and not to be so obviously pro or against things to the point where people doctor evidence to prove their point, then there wouldn't be people lying in wait.

I spent the Gulf War as immersed in the news as was possible in those days. That meant evenings with CNN and daytime with news radio and Newsweek and Time and whatever else I could scrape up.

Now, this time, during the Iraq war, there has been such a growth of news sources and availabilty and the internet that news services can't play the old games that they used to control us any more.

I raged when I heard that CNN had tolerated torture they knew about to keep a bureau open in Iraq, and then pretended that all was ok. My heart was broken when I saw the flagrant bias in the BBC coverage.

Then the election cycle came around, and CBS's games played with doctored evidence was the last straw, and I began to be a political blogger.

We have come to find out that the news services we trusted were manned by people out of touch with the reality we live. After all, we live in "flyover country" and don't really have the saavy that people like the newsies think they have.

We have come to find that the news services that thought they were crusading for the right, forgot one of the basics: that the means cannot justify the ends, for in doing so, you are changed and become part of the problem you were fighting against.

The line between editorializing and news became so blurred that we cannot know which is happening.

The major news outlets began to act like PACs for the candidate of their choice.

Is it no wonder we began finding, and in fact creating a network of alternative news sources. With the whole internet at our fingertips, and a distributed network of sources, researchers, writers, we can work around you, Mr. Brocaw. Your bottleneck has broken. The information dam you and your fellows created has crumbled, and the way people learn and decide will never be the same again.

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