Monday, October 30, 2006

Freedom of the press belongs to the printer

Here's a small item of interest from the WSJ free section. It's one of those little factoids that we sometimes forget when we bitch about the MSM. Newspapers started out as mouthpieces for politicians, who would print anything, true or mere rumor, in an effort to curry favor and win government printing contracts. It wasn't until the Government Printing Office was established in 1860 that newspapers reached out to a bi-partisan audience.

It's almost hard to imagine a time when the only source of news was a sheet of paper handed on street corners by young boys wearing jaunty caps and anybody with a idea and a printing press could become a nationwide pundit when their pamphlets were passed from hand to hand.

But then again, it's not so different from today. After decades of diverse, locally owned media, once again, a handful of rich white men control the main message and serve as unofficial political press offices, but anyone with an internet connection can become a pamphleteer and challenge the status quo. The big difference, of course, is that there's so many more of us now that the cacophony of voices drown each other out.
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3 Comments:

Blogger Kathy said...

No wonder there's such a push to limit the internet. Those rich white men don't like the status quo being threatened.

9:51:00 AM  
Blogger Kvatch said...

And now the government gets into the game with their own propoganda machines. Case in point the Pentagoon's new office devoted to countering inaccurate portrayals in the media. I guarantee that it isn't Fox they're going after, but rather KOS.

11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Kathy - I had the exact same thought.

Kvatch - somehow I'm sure you're right about that as well.

11:51:00 AM  

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