The legacy media

An entertaining exchange occurred between Baron Bodissey of Gates of Vienna and a reporter for the New York Times concerning the legacy media and the alternative media- the blogosphere.

Bodissey writes:

Our view of the legacy media might be summed up this way:

1.It creates a bubble of shared assumptions, whose inhabitants remain largely unaware of those assumptions.

2.It enforces this shared uniformity through a combination of monetary/professional incentives (“You’ll never work in this town again!”) and the fear of shaming (“What you said in your article borders on racism!”). Those who step outside the boundaries may be consigned to a small ghetto of people who share similar opinions, or experience legal problems (e.g. Andrew Bolt, Ezra Levant). Some exceptions are those who are too famous and too shrewd to be suppressed, with Mark Steyn being the most obvious example.

3.It stigmatizes information obtained through sources other than those within the bubble. This is true even when the material in question is first-hand, original reporting — which is generally of higher quality than that of the legacy media.

4.Because of its immense financial resources, its protection by governments, and its virtual lock on popular awareness, practitioners in the legacy media do not have to hold themselves to high standards — in fact, the opposite is true: those outlets that hew consistently to the august high principles of journalism may not do well.The blogosphere, on the other hand, is ruthless in culling out mendacity, obfuscation, short-cuts, etc. I learned this the hard way early on in my blogging career — when you make a mistake, you get eaten alive by your readers (assuming you allow comments) and your fellow bloggers. After a while, I learned not to publish things that weren’t well-sourced, and to issue prompt and prominent corrections and retractions when I made mistakes.