October 11, 2006
Was Media Ever About Content?
An old colleague at Poynter used to hate it when people used the words “media” and “news” interchangeably. Not the same thing, he’d say. News means standards, values, a mission; media just means… eyeballs.
Who are the next media moguls and to whom do they have to sell their souls for the priviledge? The $165 billion question left unanswered by this deal is: What is media anymore? Can you just slap videos up on the Web and become a younger and more vibrant Rupert Murdoch or Sumner Redstone?
And then Karp adds:
Does media have anything to do with content anymore, or is it all about aggregating people’s attention by any means? Was media ever really about content?
I can’t say I fully understand it, but I feel like this might be an interesting and illusion-piercing insight.
Lately, Al Gore likes to use the word “thrall” when talking about climate change. For example:
Our biggest challenge, our biggest foe, is thrall. The word sounds ancient, but it means anything that imprisons our thinking and prevents us from seeing the reality of our situation.
And I wonder if there aren’t some ideas about media, content, and journalism that we are still in thrall to, and haven’t realized it yet…
(The dots mean I don’t know what they are either, not that I do and am not telling you.)