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View Diary: IPDI nonsense: "must protect media from bloggers!" (117 comments)

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  •  It seems to me... (4.00)
    ...this can be boiled down into a couple major themes that all cut against IPDI's position.

    1. Media status as elites.  Blogs have flattened the reporting industry -- and frankly, they've become more relevant.  The media conglomerates are losing market share.  This explains their motivation.  

    The most offensive part of this argument to me is that some of the same people talking down blogs out of one side of their mouth advocate for free markets our of the other.  NBC Nightly News is today's buggy whip.  What the FEC is attempting to do is nothing more than intervene in a market in which more competitive, nimbler and better qualified competition has emerged, using better technology and techniques to deliver news and opinion.  Its like Major League Baseball's antitrust exemption for media dinosaurs. Hooey.

    Media elite status should be a decision that the market makes -- and by market I mean the "marketplace of ideas."

    2. Media privilege/exemption.  The media exemption is really just a legal fiction, as other posters note the litany of "journalists" who are little more than partisan hacks.  The decision facing the FEC is whether to continue the willful blindness and pretend that the legal fiction is meaningful, or to open the market up and simply require disclosure.

    Forced to disclose relationships and allegiances, the media will lose its undeserved place atop the pedestal.  So too, by the way, will other blogging hacks that skew too much one way or the other.  Partisanship will inspire the legions on either side and those who aim for neutrality (a fruitless pursuit many would say) will capture the vast middle ground.  But nobody's place will be guaranteed.

    3.  "Actual Privileges."

    Members of the "established" media are granted privileges -- access is an obvious example -- that newcomers are not.  One consequence of a truly open system, based on trust and disclosure and quality will mean that we have to live with the consequences of a subjective process that does the weeding out of the "good" from the "bad."  That process will never be perfect, and it will likely favor moneyed corporate interests (and it may favor partisanship at times), but it at least opens the door and provides a chance for upward mobility for those outside looking in.

    Another privilege in this regard is more literal. Right now the Supreme Court doesn't recognize a journalistic privilege (to withhold sources) -- Eugene Volukh among others has commented that blogs open a troubling possibility as to who "qualifies" as a member of the media where privileges are established (e.g. in some states). If "everyone" can simply don the cloak of being a "journalist," then there are obstruction issues that are legitimately worth some dialogue.

    At the end of the day, IPDI is doing little more than protecting the corporate interests of the current media giants.

    My two cents.

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