By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

The corporate Internet

I have an essay up on on how the democratic, grassroots, participatory media that the Internet has enabled is threatened by efforts by giant telecommunications companies to control the next-generation Net for their own, profit-driven purposes. An excerpt:

The Internet is the single greatest threat to corporate dominance of the media since the industrial model was established a century and a half ago. It would be naïve to think that these corporations wouldn’t fight back. In so doing, they are embracing (as Neil Postman predicted they would) not the strategy of Orwell’s 1984, but of Huxley’s Brave New World. By ensuring that all the latest, richest, coolest content is on the new, high-speed, corporate-controlled Net, they’ll deprive the independent sites of the oxygen they need to survive. And we’ll be so overloaded with entertainment that we won’t care.

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  1. Rich

    Only a Massachusetts “progressive” would blather on about the horror of companies wanting to turn a profit on the billions and billions of dollars of capital expenditures they are making. God forbid.

  2. Anonymous

    Rich, so now Viacom invented the internet?

  3. JonGarfunkel

    Just remember that your blog is hosted for free by a corporation with a larger valuation than Disney, TimeWarner, and CBS combined. What makes you think they are any better stewards of your rights?Time Magazine, in naming Sidarth one of the people of the year, observed: “It was definitely not Sidarth’s idea to put the clip on YouTube.” Sure, the Webb campaign put the video on YouTube. But they also sent it to the Washington Post, who posted the video. And in your note on Marshall, you cite the LA Times’s article, which I demonstrated was sloppily written in my own extensive research on the news about the AG story breaking. I’ll pass on going into how shallow the discussion is on net neutrality. This needs some real digging to explain, not just the alt-media meme “corporate media is evil (but Google we trust.)”

  4. Dan Kennedy

    I’ll pass on going into how shallow the discussion is on net neutrality. This needs some real digging to explain, not just the alt-media meme “corporate media is evil (but Google we trust.)”You’ll pass? Jon, you’re wallowing in it. Let me point out a word that you will find nowhere in my essay: “Google.” And yet you claim — using quotation marks, no less — that I’ve embraced the “alt-media meme” that we can trust Google. Just amazing.

  5. JonGarfunkel

    Ok, those were not quotation marks as in quoting you. Those were quotation marks to set aside the text. My error: late night.Forgive me for stepping in on this one. I was still getting over your “gas chambers” comment, and like any good citizen-reader, I reached for my hammer in composing a response. I understand there’s a long struggle between corp. and alt. media, and I salute you for taking a principled stand here throughout your journalism career. I do hope you recognize my contributions, as a citizen-researcher, who sometimes looks through the fluff on *both* sides, and says, “wait a minute, it wasn’t *actually* Josh Marshall who posted something about the AG’s in December, it was somebody else writing on TPM, and the LAT writer who wrote the story in March never fact-checked that, among other things…” and from there on, there’s a lot of myths that pervade the CitJ movement that make it into pieces like yours. I do believe in a vigorous independent, but I just feel that arguments for it should be founded on facts as much as emotion.

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