Sunday, August 29, 2004

Gravitas. Veritas.

Over the last two hundred years we have seen technology increasingly change the political landscape. Two centuries ago, elections were decided largely on the basis of word of mouth. The political process was, as of yet, untainted by the power of the monolithic media. Decades later the industrial revolution created a far more urban population base – giving greater media access to the masses.

The 20th century has seen an incredible increase in the level of media technology. Starting with radio communication allowing newspapers to get news from all over the world and culminating in recent years with twenty-four hour cable news channels and political morning talk radio shows. Some time ago, the media ceased to report the news and instead began to create it. The media went out of its way to avoid acknowledging that FDR was confined to a wheel chair or JFK slept with anything with breast but the situation is different nowadays. The media created the Lewinsky scandal and acted almost as a ministry of propaganda during the lead up to the Iraq War. Here in Canada, the bias is equally evident, with the Ontario provincial Liberals the target of nigh daily attacks in the Toronto Sun while the nation’s media continues to keep the sponsorship scandal in the public’s eye.

As media has become ever more powerful they have increasingly fallen under the control of multinational corporations. AOL-Time Warner owns CNN, Disney owns ABC, Viacom owns CBS etc. These corporations are larger, and more powerful, than most of the countries in the world. Unsurprisingly, they have agendas of their own. North American news is becoming ever more homogenized – just as media ownership becomes homogenized. That’s one hell of a coincidence.

We Bloggers may be the last chance for fair reporting. This American election has been a media farce. Daily the media vastly underestimates the number of people at Kerry rallies, they consistently trump polls which show Bush ahead and ignore those that show him behind and they harp on about positive news while ignoring the plethora of negative news. The major news outlets have been completely corrupted just as the internet creates a new breed of media as of yet unaffected by the power of wealth. In the modern era, it is these bastions of truth and honesty who youth increasingly turn to for their news. This year more than a dozen bloggers were given media credentials at the Democratic Convention.

Who knows what the future may hold?