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The Downfall Of Big Media

Peggy Noonan writes about the state of big media and what the future holds:
Some think bloggers and internet writers of all sorts are like the 19th century pamphleteers who made American politics livelier and more vigorous by lambasting the other team in full-throated broadsides. Actually, I've said that. And there are similarities. But it should be noted that the pamphleteers were heavy on screeds and colorfully damning the foe. The most successful bloggers aren't bringing bluster to the debate, they're bringing facts--font sizes, full quotes, etc. They're bringing facts and points of view on those facts that the MSM before this could ignore, and did ignore. They're bringing a lot to the debate, and changing the debate by what they bring. They're doing what excellent reporters would do.

They will no doubt continue to be the force in 2005 that they have been the past few years. Meantime the MSM will not disappear. But it will evolve. Some media organs--Newsweek, Time, the New York Times--will likely use the changing environment as license to be what they are: liberal, only more so. Interestingly they have begun to use Fox News Channel as their rationale. We used to be unbiased but then Fox came along with its conservative propaganda so now just to be fair and compete we're going liberal.

I don't see why anyone should mind this. A world where National Review is defined as conservative and Newsweek defined as liberal would be a better world, for it would be a more truthful one. Everyone gets labeled, tagged and defined, no one hides an agenda, the audience gets to listen, consider, weigh and allow for biases. A journalistic world where people declare where they stand is a better one.

Networks, on the other hand, may try harder to play it down the middle, and that would be wise. The days when they could sell a one-party point of view is over. No one is buying now because no one is forced to buy. But everyone will buy the networks when they sell what they're really good at, which is covering real news as it happens. Tsunamis, speeches, trials--events. Real and actual news. They are really good at that. And there is a market for it. And that market isn't over.
With all the talk about how media is evolving with blogs, talk radio, etc... it is worthwhile to consider if the changes taking place in the American market will be seen here in Canada as well.

It goes without saying that the media market in Canada is not as diverse as in America. Between the CBC and the CRTC new media in Canada will have a much more difficult time gaining ground. As well due to our smaller demographic base, it is only natural that there are fewer opportunities to target 'key markets'. These difficulties are certainly not insurmountable and in tme will probably be overcome.

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