Can Murdoch Hold It Together?
The concept brings us back to Sloan and Thompson’s Epic 2014 where EPIC -- the bastard child of the Google Grid -- has consumed the globe’s media presence, allowing everyone to “tailor” their news consumption to suit their own needs. The authors describe it as follows:
At its best, edited for the savviest readers, EPIC is a new view of the world, deeper, broader and more nuanced than anything ever available before. But at its worst, and for too many, EPIC is merely a collection of trivia, much of it untrue, all of it narrow, shallow and sensationalized. But EPIC is what we wanted. It is what we chose.
Some have already drawn parallels between Murdoch’s vision and Fox News Channel, which he already owns. Pundits such as Allahpundit at Hot Air have frequently described Fox as a “much needed counterbalance” to the infectious liberalism running rampant through much of the rest of the old guard. But to be fully honest with ourselves, to accept that rationale is tantamount to saying that we really don’t mind media bias in journalism, providing it’s the flavor of bias we prefer with our morning coffee.
Newspapers may well be on their way out, and television news -- beyond the increasingly prevalent “opinion journalism” -- might not be far behind. And if they go, no matter what you may think of the biased nature of the product, the world we political news junkies inhabit will be a poorer place for it.
As much as we may not want to admit it, every Tom, Dick, and Harriet with a blog or a decent quality digital camera is not actually a journalist. And we should not be deceived by the success of young entrepreneurs such as the two who recently broke the ACORN story wide open. They produced a fine product and did the nation a service, but they went into it with an agenda. They were there to bust that organization out of the game.
The fact that the “victims” at ACORN fully deserved their fate (in the form of lost credibility and government funding) does not detract from the fact that the journalists in question were not playing by the rules of any even, journalistic playing field.
Will Murdoch succeed where all those around him seem to be failing? It’s certainly possible, and his track record would indicate that he can do it if anyone can. But pass or fail, the sphere of traditional journalism is fading away as we watch. It may be “what we chose” after all. But one of the oldest bits of wisdom on the planet deals with having a care in what we wish for.