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On FC/FOSS media

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memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 2 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12

Web is a powerful medium today and everyone who gets any attention on it therefore has a potentially significant impact, even less popular web sites and blogs get spikes of attention through sites like and slashdot which don't discriminate on "how well known or respected a site is". And if a message is compelling enough even the obscure blog can contribute to significant change in the area and consequently world.

But even on the web there are two kinds of media. There are those who are just reporters, bystanders, pushing out news stories about things they believe will bring them readership. They are also largely commercial and their goal is as much advertising revenue as possible which often means they'll focus on reporting about controversies and other things that bring their pages a lot of views and buzz.

In short they don't participate in a given process on which they are reporting. They are merely feeding off it and exploiting whatever will bring them, bluntly said, most money.

The other kind of web media are those who do actually participate in a process and often try to achieve an end goal they consider positive. Some of their stories may be very popular and others not so much, but in general they get their spotlight a few times and by publishing things which really move the agenda forward can have quite a few dedicated supporters.

The disadvantage? They are often NOT neutral. They have an agenda, something they support, an end goal towards which the process they are participating in leads to. I call it a "disadvantage" merely because of lack of neutrality, but if they are fairly encouraging towards search of different perspectives this disadvantage may be negated - by the very fact that, on a medium such is web, you are not limited to one source of information (and propaganda).

Anyway, this topic was inspired by something Aaron Seigo just said on his blog (read it to see what's it about):

Aaron Seigo wrote:

Perhaps that's part of the challenge as well: getting the community media to recognize that they are not outsiders or passive observers but truly part of the process.

So.. let's imagine all news sites in the world are not merely observers, but also participators in a process. Would one be able to still get neutral information? Probably not. But this is where beauty of the web comes in, combined only with individual's exploratory spirit: one web site may not be neutral, but a number of them each offering their own perspective CAN give the individual observer a fuller picture.

That individual simply has to learn how to think like an explorer rather than a consumer.


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