“The article [by Stephen Collins, above] contends that in the current political-economic crisis, ‘The traditional media, too, played a role in helping people to understand what had happened and what the solution might be – in sharp contrast to the abusive and fatalistic commentary that dominated on the web’.
The anxiety of the gatekeeper challenged by new forms of communication is telling. Romantic stories of the democratic potential of social media are as weak as Stephen Collins’s bleak generalisations.
However, there is room for a public debate as to how adequately “traditional media” have represented the impact of austerity measures, and how thoroughly they have investigated the causes of the crisis and the political options available.
Similarly, there is much to consider in how a wide political spectrum of blogs and activists have used networked communications to analyse economic data, develop assessments of the crisis, and organise political responses. For all its limitations, this sphere is profoundly democratic; patrician nostalgia for a recouping of media power is not.”
An Offline Vs Online Issue (Gavan Titley, Irish Times Letters]