A Blog Perspective

This article from the SFweekly confirms that old-as-time complaint that the media only publishes bad news.

Kind of.

That is only half of the double-edged sword that becoming duller as the internet emerges as the number one news source for many people.

A Pew Research study showed that when it comes to tech & gadgets, traditional news media like newspapers and tv focus more on the companies behind them and the lasting effect those things will have on us.

In contrast, social media focuses on the immediacy of such products and are generally more positive about advancing technology.

It seems that traditional and new media are on opposite ends of the spectrum here, and it makes sense. The foundation of new media IS new technology—twitter, mobile apps, facebook likes—all of these advances that promote speed and personal interaction make it inevitable for focus to shift to the bourgeoning field. Is it any wonder that bloggers and users of social media, whose existences (and payrolls, in some cases) are vested in the advance of this type of media, choose to focus on the obstacles of technological progress rather than the big bad companies behind them?

And here stands also another dilemma, the eternal quest to weed out real news from the impostors. New technology brings with it the quandary of how news consumers can disseminate fact from opinion. Of course, this also means that the tools for fact-checking are much better and easier to obtain, but how many people actually go the extra step to do so? Does new technology foster skeptical laziness?

Yesterday I watched the pilot episode of Boardwalk Empire, and there’s a scene in which Angela Darmody says to her husband, “They couldn’t write it if it wasn’t true,” talking about the newspaper he was reading. This represents the idea that traditional media journalists and reporters actually get out and do the research, and this is what makes the platform trustworthy and reliable. It makes sense that newspapers and television would focus on company sponsoring when, for obvious reasons, new media is killing it.

There’s this conception that newspapers have remained the number one source of information through the invention of radio and tv, and will therefore remain the last standing beacon of truth for news consumers wading through the murky waters of unreliability and uncertainty. However, this stoicism seems passe now with advertising thrown into the field.

And yet, the news consumer needs to know about potential lasting effects of new tech, or as it would seem, the “negativity” of advancement. So how can a balance between the two be created on social media sites, when anyone can publish anything? New technology has opened the pandora box of unanswered questions and problems.

I agree that tech bloggers don’t give as much attention to the forces behind the product as they should, but I also don’t think print can hold onto its spot in the information speed race.


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