In this Storify, I discuss the “money” problem occurring in journalism today!
Here I discuss a few ways I will be using principles from Mediactive in my own social media and online presence.
In the first chapters of Gillmor’s book, Mediactive, he lays out the problems with traditional media and the public’s way of consuming it. One thing he spends a lot of time on, particularly in chapter one, is the way money affects mainstream media. Money clearly controls everything we do–from what we wear to what we eat to what news we consume. The scariest aspect of money controlling information is just that–how do we know what is true and what is paid to be true?
The fact that you can select a media company to see “Who Owns What?” from a drop down list is a little bit frightening. While there are still some (very few) locally owned media organizations, there are not nearly enough to be providing original content that doesn’t have money’s influence hanging over the reporter and editors heads.
Gilmoor argues that consumers need to take this into consideration as they consume media-and this brings up a different issue. Is it better to trust citizen journalists who are much less likely to feel money’s pull on them while writing and risk accuracy because of the amateur level of reporting? There is an ethics code that journalists are supposed to follow, but with citizen journalists and bloggers sometimes that code gets a little muddled. Consumers have to walk a fine line between knowing and understanding what is viable, important information and they must go through more than one form of searching for that information to do it.
There are campaigns out there working against media monopolies. These campaigns claim that the greed of companies has created a gap between local consumers and their media companies and a lack of diversity in news and media. Campaigns such as “Stop Big Media” reason that without an informed public, a democracy does not function in the way that it should. That is something that should be concerning to all citizens.
It is no longer enough to just watch the nightly news program, listen to a radio newscast or read a newspaper, online or otherwise. Many people just haven’t realized that at the heart of this issue is money.
Licklider recognized the need for a more dynamic and interactive human-computer relationship. This is still a relevant goal today. Interactivity in web design is still an important factor to both users and designers. Much like Engelbart, Licklider recognized that computers would need to become more complex and interactive in order to deal with the evolving problems of the world.
In Man and Computer Symbiosis, Licklider discusses the importance of having a computer that is able to do processes without the human input. This is especially important to the problem solving function of computers. He explains, “They would be easier to solve, and they could be solved faster, through an intuitively guided trial-and- error procedure in which the computer cooperated, turning up flaws in the reasoning or revealing unexpected turns in the solution.”
Doug Engelbart obviously had loftier goals than were probably attainable with the technologies that were available to him during his time. But Doug’s ideas are even more important now than they were then. Using emerging technologies–computers, mobile phones, applications, tablets, and the like–to help solve immense world problems is something that many companies have started to focus on, and something that many more companies should be focusing on.
From Bill and Melinda Gates to small scale global application companies, using emerging technologies as a means to assist those struggling in developing countries. Engelbart’s ideas seemed way ahead of his time and also like they were misplaced. Similar to this phenomenon is the idea that new technologies can help people that do not even have modern sanitation systems, land line telephones, or even electricity. But what Engelbart needed (and what modern technological engineers need today) is for people to have a little fair and to be able to look for solutions that are outside of the box. Engelbart could have been more successful much earlier in his career if he would have had a consistent network of support and backers that fully believed in him and his seemingly crazy ideas. Investing in the future means taking risks.
Much like Engelbart’s critics, many people today question the effectiveness of using high end technologies in developing countries. It still holds true and will almost always hold true that “humankind was moving into an era in which the complexity and urgency of global problems were surpassing time-honored tools for dealing with problems”. Learning from the past, humankind must learn to try new things and take chances with the latest technology in order to make even a dent in the immense problems that are permeating the world.