So if you think your life would be unaffected if your local newspaper closed its doors, your might be in for a real shock. But, I have to tell you, that idea worries me like hell. It worries me because at its root, the internet, is an entertainment vehicle and not a news source. Just like TV and radio, the internet “media” is mostly a means to stay in touch (with more in common with the telephone than it has with the NY Times), and has become simply a diversion that we use to be entertained.
After all, isn’t entertainment and diversion what all the social networks are really about? We pretend they are about “staying connected”, but I for one am just plain tired of seeing “so and so liked that” on Facebook and endless one line blogs about how “you’re stuck in traffic in a cab.” I guess that passes for being important now a days.
Keep this in mind when you stop reading your newspaper and are willing to swap real reporting for internet blogging and diversion. Entertainment media generates revenue through the marketing of what is popular. As a result, it is popularity that controls what is offered.
Think for a moment about the proliferation of “reality shows” on TV. Why do you think TLC ( which ironically stands for The Learning Channel) has abandoned its brand promise of learning and education in exchange for Jon & Kate Plus 8, 18 Kids and Counting, What Not to Wear, Little People, Big World, and Toddlers & Tiaras.
So, if you are looking for the internet to provide you with news, you might be intereted in what Yahoo just listed as the most popular stories. Stop reading your newspaper and this list is a harbinger of your future — for all you news hounds out there.
- The secret life of penguins revealed
- Surprise! Daydreaming Really Works the Brain
- Rare blue diamond sells for record $9.5 million
- Texas museum acquires Michelangelo’s 1st painting
- Rotten office fridge cleanup sends 7 to hospital
- Dick Cheney: Why So Chatty All of a Sudden?
- Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
- Craigslist to drop “erotic services” ads
- White House advises senators on health care bill
- Depeche Mode lead singer in hospital in Athens
Now that is REAL news. Looks like the the new “News Media” is keeping a close eye on everything.