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What is media or the media? Not very long ago all media was just print media; newspapers, magazines, etc. In the early 20th century, media also became air, so to speak. At the time screen media (newsreel) was also popular. Few decades later the air technology was upgraded to a television format featuring both audio and video. The cable/satellite TVs and the other bunch were only extensions of the same technology with more capabilities to deliver nuanced signals. These were employed mostly for entertainments; sports, movies, etc. The major breakthrough after TV was the Internet. But the Internet is a different animal altogether. Thanks to the Internet the global beast (human mass) has finally started to differentiate between quality and quantity, truth and lies, good and evil, etc.!
The main characteristic of traditional media was/is; a point-source broad-casting (an agricultural term meaning, spreading seeds all over) with a capacity to reach millions. This nature of the media availed immense power to the point(s)-source broadcasters/owners. Before the advent of the Internet, the human receptacles that number in the millions/billions didn’t have much of a wherewithal to fire back at/to the point-source, so to speak. In this sense, traditional media, by and large, was/is a one-way street. Because of such a built-in power of the media to influence, persuade, mobilize, etc., billions of people, governments (all over the world) have been very wary of its influences. In many countries/places the media is either under government ownership or is strictly controlled/regulated.
But this shouldn’t suggest private media is better. In fact when it comes to private media, it is market operators that essentially dictate what the beast hears, watches, believes, etc. That is why we generally call the media, (global or otherwise) the ‘paid media.’ For us, the paid media includes those owned by the states themselves, especially in countries where the states are effectively captured by the private sector! In days past, it was mostly corporations and states that owned all the point-source media, as it was a highly localized and capital intensive venture. Thanks to modern technology, alternative media that do not rely on massive investment (point-source) are now springing up everywhere. For example, the Internet is currently on its way to obliterating the previous stodgy & incestuous set up of old, which up to now disproportionately benefited broadcasters/corporations/states at the expense of the welfare of the general public. Participatory media like YouTube and the various blogs are gradually changing the whole media terrain.
The Internet allows choice. One can get what one wants and when one wants it. Moreover, unlike all the previous media formats, the Internet is not unidirectional. It is full of interactions, sending and receiving. Social media would not have been possible without it. Even though the Internet is multidirectional, it is also a double-edged sword, as recent revelations keep on reaffirming us! Be that as it may, the impact of the new informatics on the media is certainly an earth shattering game changer!
The more advanced the prevailing/accessible the technology, the less the power of traditional media to influence and manipulate people! The old adage, ‘information is power’ used to be sacrosanct. Today information can be had for nothing and in fact its excess has become a nuisance to balanced life. Here is what our friend, the witty economic commentator Bill Bonner has to say about it. ‘We were suspicious of these claims back then. Information is cheap, we pointed out. It’s wisdom that is precious, and you don’t get much of that on the Internet. You have to pay for it… with bitter experience. In fact, information – unless it is exactly what you need, exactly when you need it – has negative value. It distracts you. It must be applied. And stored. No, dear reader, information is like manure. A little, at the right time, is a good thing. Pile up too much, and it stinks.’
As point(s)-source broadcasting became progressively irrelevant, particularly amongst the inquisitive types, (leadership material) the status quo (states & corporations) started to employ all kinds of subversive strategies to thwart off the global beast’s independent tendencies. Anonymous, Wikileaks and their likes are now targeted for elimination by the likes of NSA (National Security Agency of the USA) and GCHQ (United Kingdom.) These two, (in collaboration with Australia, Canada & New Zealand) besides being the epitome of state’s subversion of privacy/freedom are also the forerunners in implementing the global project of ‘Big Brotherhood’! The corporations/corporate media whose main objective is to completely commodify all life, for the sake of profit seeking, is also at work against the gradual liberation of the global beast! As Tyler Durden, (a character from ‘Fight Club’) put it; ‘Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.’
This leaves us only with community and non-traditional or alternative media. Even though community media still lack resource, the future looks bright for them as well as other alternatives! As these media find inspiration from the lack of honesty, integrity, etc. of paid media, (both state and private) the global beast will be encouraged, to depend more and more on community and other alternative media outlets for news and more! Here is the real story/exasperation behind the thinking of the global status quo, which is now scared out of its wits, as conveyed by one of the founders of the Trilateral Commission. Trilateral Commission is an elite entity of about 400 people (mostly from the West and Japan) who try to decide, (behind the curtain) literally all matters concerning human lives. “To put it bluntly: in earlier times, it was easier to control one million people than to physically kill one million people; today, it is infinitely easier to kill one million people than to control one million people,” Zbigniew Brzezinski. Good Day!