Thursday, January 24, 2008


As of November 2006, only 26 million Americans watched any nightly news program on television (down from 52 million in 1980). And the percentage of people who believed "all or most of what news organizations say" fell dramatically between 1996 and 2006.

On the other hand, social sites like Digg, Reddit,, Technorati, StumbleUpon, Propeller, Newsvine etc., and alternative news websites on both the left and the right have attracted huge numbers of eyeballs. Indeed, there are currently at least 112.8 million blogs and over 250 million pieces of tagged social media.

We are actually on the verge of becoming bigger than the audience for tv news. Don't believe me? Check out this poll, which found that nearly half of Americans turn to web for news, and almost 70% think traditional journalism is out of touch. And this poll, which shows that more people trust internet news than the traditional news media.

And we are certainly much more involved and active than the couch potatoes passively consuming the drivel coming from the MSN.

In fact, mainstream news is a misnomer. Why? Because the corporate, controlled news does not reflect the views of mainstream Americans. Instead, it reflects the views of the government and the large corporations which own or advertise on the news networks.

The blogosphere, on the other hand, runs insightful and uncensored stories. The blogsphere gives voice to, and reflects the views of, mainstream America. In other words, I would argue that the blogsphere is now the "mainstream" news source.

Attention Blogosphere . . . We are now the mainstream news.

Making News of Our Own

There are now enough of us reading and writing political and news blogs that we can affect history.

Instead of rolling our eyes at the newest inept and cowardly act of the politicians, or getting hot under the collar at the latest attempt of the White House to turn America into a monarchy, or yelling at our monitors over the latest corrupt and illegal act of our "leaders", or twitching over the latest spin by the "mainstream" media, we can -- together -- actually make some news of our own.

Like what?

Well, that's for us to decide. I'm not the spokesman or the leader, but just one member of the very large blogosphere.

But if we pretend we are just passive spectators, the inept, cowardly, fascistic and/or corrupt politicians and media are going to run our country into the ground. You know it, I know it, the entire blogosphere knows it.

The one-way model of television news -- where the talking heads talk at us and tell us what to believe -- is dead. The power of the blogosphere is that it is two-way:
  • With social networking sites, by definition the most important news stories (as determined by the users) get voted up
  • With alternative news sites, those sites which carry the important stories which the MSM censors get the most readers; that's why such sites have grown exponentially while the mainstream news is losing viewership
All of us in the blogosphere collectively have the power to change the course of events, to keep our country from plunging off of the cliff, and to restore sanity in a nutty time. If we just embrace and accept our role as active participants, rather than passive consumers of bad news, we can make things right.

Attention Blogosphere . . . The future rests in our hands.

But the [people], if only they could somehow become conscious of their own strength, would have no need to conspire . . . They need only to rise up and shake themselves like a horse shaking off flies . . .
- George Orwell, 1984

You let one ant stand up to us - then they all might stand up. Those puny little ants outnumber us a 100 to one. And if they ever figure that out, there goes our way of life.
- Hopper (a grasshopper speaking to fellow grasshoppers in the Disney/Pixar movie A Bug's Life)

There is no act too small, no act too bold. The history of social change is the history of millions of actions, small and large, coming together at points in history and creating a power that governments cannot suppress.
- Howard Zinn, historian

To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.
- Bruce Lee

The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them.
- George Bernard Shaw

If you don't like the news, go out and make some news of your own.
- Scoop Nisker, radio personality


Blogger James said...

I was on Skype today with my 55 year old mother, and she started talking about Anonymous videos, and videos of Hillary Clinton. I didn't know it but she has adopted the internet as her primary news source, and not just the mainstream sites. I couldn't believe she had any clue. These tubes sure are something special!

10:23 AM  

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