Don’t Blame Media, Blame the Media-Audience Infinite Loop
I’ve spent two days listening to and reading near-constant coverage of the wacko who's planning to burn Korans in Gainsville, Florida, and increasingly the stories have been about whether or not all the press attention has been irresponsible. Whether constantly covering the outrage has made it a global one, versus something that only his fifty parishioners would have known about. If the events put American soldiers in danger—that’s a pretty real issue. The media has long wrestled with how much it should give the public what it wants versus what it thinks the public needs, and it became more pronounced as the readership of stories became immediately measurable and comparable. Mad about Lindsey Lohan’s jail time being covered by serious news outlets? Groaning at another TechCrunch post about the iPhone? Well, then stop reading, watching, and commenting on them. Like a kid throwing a tantrum, the easiest way to get media you don’t like or think is irresponsible to go away is to stop paying attention. If a blog posts in a forest and no one is there to comment does it really exist? Not according to most bloggers.
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