The amount is debatable.
Whenever I try to explain anything about ‘old media’ problems, I always turn to Anchorman.
This satirical film thrives on issues like sexism, partisan media, newsworthiness and news as a constructed commodity. These last two have significant bearing on the transition from a centralised concept of media and information to one that’s decentralised or distributed.
Once upon a time, media corporations edited, packaged and curated the news – the only news. News doesn’t ‘happen’, it’s created. Gatekeepers, whose authority is distinguished through their established brand (supported by paid advertising), controlled the flow of information and what that creation was. The message apathy, the medium legacy media and the outcome control and profit. As Ron Burgundy said – stop what you’re doing and listen.
But, as Jay Rosen says, “now the horizontal flow, citizen-to-citizen, is as real and consequential as the vertical one.”
This process, enabled by expanding online communication networks, moves audiences from passive consumers of information to active participants in content creation, sharing and debate.
While some argue decentralised networks fragment and polarise the public sphere – with individuals only interacting with information/views they agree with, unhinging deliberative democracy – it seems just as harmful to be fed information, 1984 style.