August 01, 2004

Miles To Go

Well, I still have a lot more to write about the people I talked to and the things I saw at the convention. But I'm just about to be wrapping up my summer trig class, and the final is Wednesday. If I do nothing but study between now and then, I just might kinda-sorta-almost make up for a whole week of forgetting that I was even in a class. My teacher has yet to email me back with the assignment that's due tomorrow, but I'm expecting that sometime today.

I attended some nifty technology forums, talked to a representative from a new online activism facilitator, and got good interviews with delegates from Tennessee and Ohio. Starting Thursday, I'll even write about it for you, and thank the PTB that none of it is especially time-sensitive.

However, I'd like to share a misguided notion that I went into the convention with, and that I've been pretty thoroughly disabused of. At the start of this, I said that I wasn't going to spend time covering the speeches because not only would C-SPAN be airing them, but there were 15,000 other reporters there who would probably also be doing that very thing. Silly me. Everyone I've heard from who paid attention to the media, which I haven't had time to get plugged into for the last week, has given me the impression that the rest of the media had exactly that same thought about the speeches.

This BuzzFlash reader response to the coverage sums up what else I've been hearing. But I have at least one, shining inkling that not all members of our press corp are drinking the Kool Aid. That some of them would like to cover these things differently, but can't.

As an unidentified Boston Herald reporter said, "A lot of it's reporters are really unhappy with [The Herald] this week." Apparently, they found the coverage and tone of the paper seriously lacking, but they don't have the final say over what gets printed and how it gets strung together.

Once again, it all comes down to ownership. The big media conglomerates own the presses, just as they in turn are owned by huge and diverse corporate concerns that serve only their own interests. These companies have no sense of the public trust of a free press, or any feeling of the responsibility to tell people the truth about what's going on. They are utterly devoid of civic duty. To blame only the people who are the public face of the media (though some of them deserve plenty of blame) is to miss the point of why our press is so collectively dysfunctional.

So I have this suggestion to ponder until I return from my math immersion: Instead of writing to CNN, ABC, NBC, FOX, or any of those other outlets, consider writing to the companies that own those networks, and remember that this is lurking in the shadows all the time, waiting to pounce with all the malevolence of Bob Novak's evil twin. And your corporate-owned media will not tell you anything about it.

Posted by natasha at August 1, 2004 10:57 AM | Random Mumblings | Technorati links |
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