Not just technological change, rejection of editorial bias.

Story: The Death of the NewspaperTotal Replies: 5
Author Content

Feb 06, 2009
10:58 AM EDT
Back at the beginning of newspapers, they were rabid scandal rags more like the National Enquirer and its copycats than anything we have today.

The elevation of Newspapers (capital N) to the status of Prophets of our Time came much later. Journalistic Integrity, Fair and Balanced, All the News that's Fit to Print, The Newspaper of Record, etc.

But what was missed was the fact that editorial bias infected and effected what news it was that was "fit". The news was chosen, carefully, with "correct" emphasis. William Randolph Hearst doing a dance over the front pages of his newspapers each day comes to mind. Thou Shalt Not Displease The Owner.

TV, carefully regulated, merely expanded the careful self-censorship to a new medium. It was still "few to many" broadcasting.

Even cable TV did not expand the number of news sources enough to change things, because the barriers to entry were so very, very high.

But not with the 'Net. The barriers to entry are gone. One web page has just as much availability as any other. The Drudge Report turned the American news establishment on its ear, and that was just one guy.

Yes, newspapers are dieing, but it's not just a technology issue. It's also the fact that their monolithic editorial bias is now obvious, because alternatives exist that are just as easy to read. People aren't going to one source or one medium any more. They are abandoning the single-source news reporting en masse.

So someone with an issue, like me, can know that this "economic stimulus package" that every "real" news source and ever "reputable" politician, and every "mainstream" economist, says is desperately needed, is just a Big Lie to cover over the theft of the entire US economy by a few well connected expletives.

But fear not, the Obama administration and congressional Democrats are floating the idea of reviving the insanity of the "Fairness Doctrine".

If you're too young to remember, it comes down to "equal time for opposing viewpoints", at least officially. What it really means is that anyone who makes a blatantly biased statement, such as Olberman's glorious excoriations of the Bush administration, or Limbaugh's equally emasculating diatribes concerning Clinton, could be punished for not offering equal time for opposing viewpoints in the judgement of federal law enforcement.

But the new medium (I pretend to hear you cry)! With many sources, what basis can such a "Fairness Doctrine" have when opposing viewpoints are out there at any time for anyone who wants them?

Indeed, that's why I'm so worried about it myself. Reviving the Fairness Doctrine in this distributed age can have only one meaning: They want to crush the 'Net.

Feb 06, 2009
12:26 PM EDT
Hmmm, nah.

Feb 06, 2009
12:49 PM EDT
"Death to the Internet" is Big Media's motivation. Right now, as I type this, there are 4 stories on the Slashdot main page involving Big Media: ESPN wants to charge ISP's for access (NB: ESPN is a Disney property.) RIAA lied to Congress about stopping lawsuits RIAA and BSA lawyers taking high US Dept. of Justice posts CNN inserts into EULA their "right" to abuse your bandwidth

I think they think we're not paying attention.

Feb 06, 2009
2:21 PM EDT
Quoting:"Death to the Internet" is Big Media's motivation. Right now, as I type this, there are 4 stories on the Slashdot main page involving Big Media
Besides Slashdot, the Electronic Freedom Foundation is renown for trying to stand up hands-on against many of the "Big Media's Death to the Internet" efforts, see Major issues that EFF defends include - Free Speech - Innovation - Intellectual Property - International - Privacy - Transparency EFF also has a quite LXer-related - Blogger's Rights resources page, - Coders' Rights resources page,


Feb 06, 2009
5:13 PM EDT
"Senator wants to revive 'Fairness Doctrine' censorship"

Oh heck, just put "revive fairness doctrine" into a google search and hang on. Word is getting around.

Feb 06, 2009
5:16 PM EDT
Just put "revive fairness doctrine" into a google search and hang on. Word is getting around.

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