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What Killed the Mediasaur?

June 2, 2008

I doubt many people cried over the loss of the telegram, and certainly no one laments its loss today. And while there has been a constant cry from the distances for radio theatre, it is a clear minority that would choose the radio show over TV or movies.

But Michael Crichton ruffled a lot of feather back in 1993 when he predicted the demise of the mass media in an article for Wired he called “Mediasaurus.” Slate magazine has returned to the article, and its author, in what could be the last moment before his 15 year-old prediction becomes fact.

Of course, unlike with telegrams and radio theatre, the potential negative impact with mass media extinction…er….media mass extinction will be much larger. The big concern is that with the death of mass media, information-seekers will be left to the stormy and unnavigable internet–populated, as it is, with unreliable and uneducated “bloggers.”

But we should remember that our early newspapers were no less biased and ill-formed that many blogs are today and, unlike the early newspaper age, there are already a great many very well-informed, trained journalists and academics participating in the blogoshpere, as well as a very lively online journalism environment.

It remains to be seen how either of those two realities will persist in the absence of 1) the mass media sourcing apparatus that informs most blogs or 2) money, but “the market,” like “nature,” tends to find a way.

This entry was posted by: Jim
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