Bit by Bit
Bit, over at Bits Blog, notes Glenn Instapunditman Reynolds making the pages of the Wall Street Journal discussing, among all things, blogs and their effect on mainstream media, or, what I would call the rags.
Bit posits that blogs are achieving a level of “authority” out in the world at large, competing with the mainstream media rags. I don’t know if blogs have achieved a level of authority, but, I do believe they have achieved a level of respect.
Bits piece is title “Godzilla vs. the ‘Blogosphere’.”
As I said in my own older post that I linked to in that discussion… the issue of the relationship between trust, and authority is of interest to me just now, because I think that bears on many issues of today… including the presidential election. (In my view it comes down to, as it always has, the issue of whom you trust more in this election in the position they’re running for. That issue is of the same import now as at any other critical time in our history, I think. Zell Miller did a good johb of addressing that issue of trust last night, though indirectly. It also bears directly on the issue of the MSM vs their replacements.
I haven’t quite got it worked out as yet, but I’m convinced that…. (Absent force of law, gun, or lack of competition, or a combo of all of these) ...authority is granted only as a matter of TRUST.
I alluded to this point in the post you link to; that perhaps the word “authority” was misplaced, and perhaps trust is more appropriate. But then I got tangled on the relationship between trust and authority., and I wonder now if I didn’t get it right the first time.
Consider my line of thinking, please…You don’t give someone in your employ authority to run a machine, for example, until you trust him with it. You don’t give them the passwords to the computer, (and thereby the authority to use it) the keys to the safe (ditto) or anything else, unless you trust them. Authority, of ANY kind, where it is freely granted, is granted only to the level of trust the situation engenders. PAW, you usually grant someone only the level of authority you trust them with.
If you trust someone to give you the news, you grant them authority to tell you what’s news.
For many years, the MSM had the authority of being the sole power, the sole authority, if you will, the sole arbiter, of what was news. The MSM was trusted by the people because of a long-standing trust and by the fact that there was little in the way of serious competition in that area. Usually, people had no way to judge how well they handled that trust…. That authority. In a sense, the people were under force to accept the MSM and to grant them the authority insofar as what was and was not news… and often as not, what was truth, particularly in political and social areas.
Other voices coming into the scene changed all of that. The added information undermined that trust, and with it, the authority attached to it… and I think rightly so.
I’m suggesting in my post that Blogs are becoming more popular because in large part of a greater trust at the moment,. But I’m also suggesting that they can and will fall victim to diminished trust… diminished authority, should they fall to the same abuses the MSM did.
Your use of the word ‘respect’ is useful, becuse it certainly qualifies as that, but I submit that respect is built up by proving one’s self trustworthy with the authority granted.
We seems to agree there’s a relationship there; what’s in the discussion stage now is the order in which these different levels come in.
Does that make any greater sense to you now?
And by the way, I note Fox news exceeded all three mainline networks as well as all other cable networks last night. If we hold that Fox is still outside the realm of mainstream media, then, I suppose we can argue that the replacement of the MSM has been completed.
Thanks for the link, and here’s to a good discussion.Posted by Bithead on 09/02 at 01:35 PM
(In fairness, it should be pointed out that the trust/authority given Blogs is perhaps less than that given the MSM simply because the expectations were set lower going in… perhaps worthy of a sub-topic all it’s own, that point)Posted by Bithead on 09/02 at 01:42 PM