Here’s an interesting reflection on the accelerating collapse of legacy mainstream media: A curious fact emerged from the frenzied search through U.S. politician Sarah Palin’s e-mails (which turned up nothing much), that the Big Media had enlisted their readers’ help in goingthrough the boxes of administrivia. In which case:
One embarrassing aspect of this episode, among several, is that major newspapers like the Times and the Post don’t seem to have the resources to review a few boxes of emails to determine whether there is anything there of interest. Otherwise, why would they solicit help from hundreds of readers? In my business, litigation, it is not unusual for parties to produce tens of millions of documents. A production of 13,000 emails would be considered minuscule. That our major newspapers evidently don’t have staff to do this minimal amount of work speaks volumes about their decline. – “Another embarrassment for the legacy media,” (Powerline June 10, 2011)
It’s not only people who vote for Palin’s party who have noticed. This story flew in Canada.
In the past, that level of reader collaboration with a story was usually impossible, quite apart from the fact that, to former media culture, it would be unthinkable. While these measures may stave off a specific stage of decline, they mostly demonstrate why the decline must proceed.
How will this stage of the decline of nanny media affect the design controversy? It raises the cost of shoving “expertise” that doesn’t fit widely known facts right in the readers’ faces.
Essentially, the medium whose journalists need readers to help them sort through the tsunami of information are roughly equivalent to a community blog like Uncommon Descent. But they are much more expensive to operate. It’s their critical weakness.
Donate to Uncommon Descent. We are the new media. Your media.