The first edition of Ben Bagdikian’s book The Media Monopoly is an interesting read, as are the updated editions over the years:
Take your pick.
Once upon a time media critics were sounding the alarm that traditional media had a stranglehold on the information flow.
Journalism shrugged it off as if it were unimportant.
It was very important, not just to society, but to the survival of the profession itself. If it is a giant monolith, there will be no deviation in thought or methods, making it easy for it to be toppled should a new competitor come on the scene.
The deceptive narrative of “Big Tech” glosses over one giant point:
That once upon a time, it was the Goliath of Big Media that met a David — a small, young upstart called Social Media.
And David wiped the floor with Goliath, freeing people and giving them a platform to broadcast their own thoughts and experiences to the world without the tyranny of Goliath to meddle in their message with manipulative narrative, or preventing that message from ever coming out in the first place.
Journalism was defeated. It is a dead profession, and they went straight into the bowels of Hell.
Now those angry demons are trying to haunt social media from beyond. It is the punishment for destroying the power of having a monopoly.
You have newspapers such as The Seattle Times trying to regain control of that power by trying to get the government to stop “Big Tech” by using their outlet to push their agenda.
Newspapers are not reporting. They are advocating against a rival, They are not some objective party.
With a glaring confirmation bias: when traditional media had the stranglehold on information, they did not demand the government go “trust-busting.”
How very interesting.
Journalism is not the place to settle scores with rivals.
It is not the place to lobby the government to go after your rivals.
That is not an opinion piece. That is an open letter to get your own way.
But traditional media owners bungled their own fortunes, and now are trying to take social media down in any way they can.
It is war on “Big Tech” and it is a war they have already lost. The old guard who grabbed power by equally deceptive means are the pots calling the kettles black.
Governments are threatened by Big Tech. Old Media are threatened by Big Tech.
Big Tech is a power, and now the trick is for those who wish to continue their stranglehold to malign Big Tech just enough to try to regain control.
It won’t work, however because the argument that an electric car is bad so you should just go back to a horse and buggy doesn’t fly.
If someone wrests control away from Big Tech, it is not going to be the old guard who grabs it. It will be an entity who is more modern, has none of the stench of past sins, and has something better to offer.
People are not going to go back to their first spouse if the second spouse disappoints them. They may very well dump Spouse #2…but will look for younger, better-looking, and happier Spouse #3 instead.
But the attacks are coming in the highly deceptive manner — linking old media’s three enemies: Donald Trump, Russia, and Big Tech together to create a fake Jabberwocky.
Big Tech’s problem is that the players are doing the exact same things old media did — things that spelled their fall from power. Is Big Tech too powerful? Yes, but once upon a time, so was traditional media. The power went to their heads and they checked their morality at the front door.
Traditional media has still not been made accountable for all their sins — from lying to misusing their platforms to push their own agendas.
If Big Tech were smart, they have damning and embarrassing information about Old Media, and they should expose it all: the fake social media followers is the least of it. From the real numbers of clicks to the vile email exchanges to plagiarism to the out-and-out sleight of hand fraudulent practices, Big Tech could be of service to expose facts that could create the greats exposé of the decade. Big Tech is playing way too nice and fair to the old guard, and have the means and tools to show which entity is the more untrustworthy. Leak out the electronic conversations between reporters and PR firms. Take a page out of WikiLeaks’ playbook.
It would certainly bring a new perspective to this current rancid zombie attack…