This article illustrates well the burden of my post yesterday: Consumers rule in Murdoch’s evil empire – Eureka Street. We (the general public) have far more access to the tools of journalism than we used to. No matter how amateurishly we wield them, the results carry great impact – for good or ill.
The birth earlier this year of the Arab Spring with all its risk and promise was largely eased by popular access to Twitter and the web. For the first time, there is a hint that power is capable of shifting from despotic rule to the hands of the people. I sat up way past my bedtime last Tuesday morning to watch the Murdoch appearance before the British parliamentary committee, and I concentrated hard on the content of the line of questioning and the answers.
To read the next morning’s papers, however, was to be led to the belief that the only thing that happened of substance was the foam pie incident. Pundits suggest that it was the immediate prolific tweeting of the so-called “Twitterverse” that swung editorial decisions to focus on this “exciting” piece of vaudeville rather that the boring and exhausting detail of history in the making.
We, the public, it appears, got what we deserved. Of course, there are a range of sources from which to gain the detailed journalistic analysis that we might seek. But so much sand to sift to get to the gold! In the meantime, public opinion is swayed and shaped by the banal and deliberately inaccurate (think Australia’s current carbon tax debate).