Posted by: Katie Hamachek | November 21, 2011

The Role of Traditional Media in McChesney’s Revolution

Upon finishing McChesney, I can’t help but be distracted from his message by how blatantly he disregards personal choice and ethical media people. Does he really think the media machine is so much more powerful than the individual man?  Does he not realize that there are people in media, and dare I suggest PR, who try to do the right thing, and see their job as a way to help people and democracy? Or does he see those people and think they are powerless to do anything about it?  Considering how adamant McChesney is about the people rising in a grassroots movement to regain control of the media, or at least protect public broadcasting, it seems McChesney is ignoring all the “good” media people out there.

Having worked in politics and now part time in Public Affairs, it seems to me that there are many people in PR and media who care deeply about our democracy and citizenry.  In fact, the PR/media people are usually some of the first to show up when something needs changing.  The group that’s harder to motivate is the general citizenry. If we want to reform the media, it probably can’t just be a grassroots movement. A true media reform would definitely need involvement at every level, including those working in media.  In this sense, McChesney seems to be biting the hand that feeds him and alienating those who will be needed to pull off his revolution.

Questions:

1. Is the media undergoing a reform right now with the rise of new media?

2. Does the feedback mechanism of new media allow for a more democratic media system?

3. How do we maintain minimum standards of quality in a decentralized media system?

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