Tom Paine to Blogs…..

In this week’s reading: “Tom Paine to Blogs and Beyond” from We The Media, gives a very interesting insight of how opinionated media became about. As the first few pages were giving a history lesson on how journalism became more opinionated.

It started fairly early with ones like Thomas Paine of his rebellion during the 18-centaury. Back then newspapers were the only way people got their news. Also back then, newspapers were predominately closed to opinion from the public and people just heard part of the story. People like Paine, started a writing trend of people should know the true and whole story. For example, people started to realize the constitution was put in to protect the free speeches like Paine ideas. From that, it started a trend of people who want to state there opinion.

In order to get your message across, it required to reach the greatest amount of people. We start seeing instant communication first with the telegraphic. As technology started to improve with inventions such as: radio, television and cable. These became power tools to spread the word and reach people in far distance. Of course with any advancements, capitalism or Big Media starts to take full advantage of it.

The thing with Big Media, they always want high ratings and make money from it. In order to achieve such a goal, they need to create programming catered to the listener or viewer. That’s where we start seeing talk shows that pretty much had open mike. It enabled one to opinionate in anyway they wised with host as the moderator.

As talk shows started to take off and became a new trend. However, Howard Kurtz mentioned radio shows started another trend: weblogs. Weblogs were mainly bunch of people who were turned off from mainstream media, but still wanted to voice there own opinion. They felt mainstream media was still controlled from Big Media or regulations.

This wouldn’t be accomplished with people like Tim Berners Lee who created technology such as hypertext and help what has become the World Wide Web. Another example is Justin Hall, sophomore at Swarthmore College who created the 1st serious weblog. Like Justin, anyone could just own a digital printing press.

I guess all of this had to come from influences like Marshall Mcluhan — Understanding Media. Where Mcluhan shed some light on how technology can be used as extension of you. The mind is a non-tangible object, but with technology, it can be transferred through others mind if you use the right tools. I assume people like Richard Stallman (who is the creator of Linux) is sick of capitalism, big media or anything run by a large group, wanted be free and have others enjoy the same opportunity without strings attached.

As Alvin Toffler simply explains of what is happening: “elimination of the middle man and customization for all.” I totally agree with him of what is happening and the redefined of media. We see so many small, personal and ethnic media outlets come into play. With society as being the influence or the major controller of the media circle…..that’s how it should be done. However, getting respect is the main issue. I personally work in the media circle, but my group is an ethnic media group. Usually, we don’t have problems, but as times, getting interviews or camera positions at major events, tends to get us the backseat or never in the spot light.

Mainly, I’m a firm believer of non-mainstream media. Blogs have played a role in this and created a whole new breed of journalist. Even though many Blogs aren’t professional or able to compete with the big boys, but they have rich information that no other capitalist can offer. You can write anything you want: from reports on news breaking situations to your cooking experiences at home. Anything you write, someone will have an interest in it. My feelings and thoughts of Blogs: “you’re never wasting the time to write and it will touch someone sooner or later.” I never thought Blog were important until I started to this class with Blogs and people started to comment about it. In addition, reading other people’s Blogs enriched and further my knowledge about what is happen around. Overall, Blogs enables us to communicate, read and gain knowledge that you never heard, but being touched by it the most important gratification.

—-David Cho—-

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