Ed Driscoll

Old Media Versus New

In an interview in the Washington Times, Andrew Breitbart documents the rise of the Blogosphere and new media sites such as his own and the Drudge Report:

I think that, a lot of times, before the Internet, people ended their education when they graduated college. They stopped reading, that’s when their assumptions would stop, and people would close their minds, and just go along with the rest of their lives.

Part of the Generation X thesis back in the ’90s was political apathy. OK, well, that’s a crazy notion now, to me, because the Internet has created an environment where you’ve got your DailyKos and your FreeRepublic and your Lucianne.com and your HuffingtonPost. Now, everyone seems to have an opinion, and a strong one, at that.

So we went from a period of raw apathy to hyperawareness of the political realm, without the mainstream media covering that radical transformation. And the reason why is because, in the past, the old media wasn’t doing its job. It bored people to tears. It was conventional wisdom for the sake of conventional wisdom, and because they were in control, they were happy with it, it was a profitable business for them. Well, the Internet has created a wonderful environment of competition for the powers that be. And now they’re going to have to figure out how to give the people what they want. And the people want new information, they want fresh information, they want accurate information, they want unbiased information.

I think that in 10 to 15 years of the Internet, one thing that’s for certain and absolutely, the New York, left-of-center tilt of the media had not been completely — it was always the talk of the right wing — but that notion is now self-evident. The Internet exposed who the reporters are. Before, people didn’t know who the bylines were, now we know who they are. We know their histories. When they write something on Tuesday, we know what they said last Wednesday.

There’s such a high level of accountability out there, that the very people who were criticizing the online world because there’s not accountability, because there’s no gatekeepers, because there’s no editors, were in fact wrong. Errors were allowed to live an exceptional life in the Old Media without debunking. In the New Media, a lie cannot get out of the door before it’s waylaid.

Meanwhile, an member of Old Media, posted anonymously by Glenn Reynolds, though it’s a name “you’d recognize” he says, provides a snapshot of his industry’s mindset:

Yon’s story [of Al Qaeda atrocities doesn