Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Here's two points Chicago makes:
-Dems need to do even more than they already are to take advantage of the ÂNew MediaÂ numbers. That is, they should redouble ancomplexityfy their on-line outreach and fundraising efforts. The net is still really cheap, and it influences the young far more than traditional media. Youth are the future, and remain a tremendous pool of untapped activists and voters. IIRC, they have the lowest voter turnout, but this doesnÂt have to be the case. Plus, I hear programmers and game designers work cheap these days- let them make some sites, games and other on-line interactive toys to get more young people involved. Hell, the Army is doing it.
I'm not sure what kind of games could work here since most progressive and progressive causes are against violence per se and those are the ones that are doing quite well, though it would be hilarious to see rush, pac man, limbaugh going after oxycotin or get a team of liberal freedom fighters and do a navy seals against the crazy neocon agenda of armegeddon.
Arbitron ratings did a report ealier this summer that said 1 in 10 have a significant amount of control of their listening habits through ipods, internet radio, and satellite radio. I would imagine that that number will increase to at least 4 in 10 within a few years. Just as no one could comprehend everyone "needing" a personal computer, no one will be able to fully understand the new market and how fast it will change the landscape of media.
I truly believe the only hope of media as a strong 4th estate agent is through technology. There are no more Woodward and Bernstien's. Hersh is a dying breed. As Chicago pointed out, the media is one big corporate circle-jerk with too many assets in all areas of government and private life to do any real reporting.
The right has also criticized it so well, that the media is doomed; thus, Chicago's second idea is integral:
-IÂm open to the idea that thereÂs value in using the traditional media still, but the last five years have shown that 99% of that media is hopelessly pro-corporate, and thus usually heavily in favor of repeating only the Rethuglican agenda. There are two solutions: convince everyone to stop watching TV news and opinion programs altogether, or buy a couple of major papers and TV stations, and start broadcasting a properly Democratic message. I recognize that either of these steps requires enormous effort and tons of cash. Smarter people than I could plan out a Âground upÂ approach of how to do the latter, but the point is that the Republicans have already done it. Whining about how difficult this would be isnÂt going to help anything. Surely, there are a few liberal millionaires and Hollywood producers left in this country? ThereÂs even a business angle: the dearth of liberal traditional media has created a vacuum, one big enough to fill advertisersÂ coffers in short order. Bring back liberal media, and viewers will follow.
Many are clamoring for this and it would be a huge success. Look at the numbers just for "lefty" communities. Millions of hits a day. Air America is growing, though their ratings are not as good as people had hoped (though I would argue this is due to the way they bundle the programing as a package, all-or-nothing instead of the way conservative radio does it by personality) and taking over what used to be hard core Rush markets.
Donahue, before he was yanked by MSNBC was their largest draw. Fox news success comes from their unique news perspective. No corporate news organization has the cajones or will to take an idealogically different perspective, so the need and desire is there. The difficulty would be to do something new and original and not merely do the opposite of Fox. Franken should not have a show. Stewart, on the other hand, might do quite well. Get a roundtable of Helen Thomas, Sy Hersh, Tony Shadid and Steve Fainaru, and Dan Murphy -- I'd watch that, but I'm a geek so....