Monday, March 5, 2012

Opening The Tent of Participatory Media

I attended an all day workshop on March 3 called Media for the 99%. I didn’t know any of the folks running it and I didn’t know what the focus was going to be but I needed to check it out. Over the next few days I’ll share some of the things I learned and observed.


There was a point in a panel discussion where a woman rose and talked about going to the Los Angeles Times web site on the night of the Oscars because she wanted to find out information about Greece.

She talked about calling the web editor and asking why there was no online coverage of the problems in that country but over saturation about the Oscars. The woman was told that this is what people want. That the Oscars is about the entertainment business of the region.

Folks got a little lit up. The panel, by the way, had nothing to do with the Los Angeles Times.

There was confusion about wanting to hold traditional media responsible for current sins. Other were saying WTF are we talking about mainstream media when we can grow our own?

Many people wanted to talk about positive, pro-active steps that people could take to improve what they do to get the message out to their respective communities and affiliations.

And it was five minutes before lunch.

I am all about the education. I want folks to understand what is going on in various parts of the new media landscape. I tend to forget that there are chunks of people who are bonded to traditional media. They don’t perceive that there is anything else.

There is a generational disconnect that is exploited every day because what folks are talking about on Twitter, Facebook or blogs does not translate into their experiences with mainstream media.

Mainstream media is changing and it doesn't seem for the better.

I have no reason or incentive to help the Los Angeles Times be a better newspaper. I only read it when there is a story that I truly cannot get from another source. The closing of Los Angeles school libraries was one of those stories in 2011. The reporter did a fine job.

That was some time in 2011. You get my point?

The Los Angeles Times has so many factual errors, focus on entertainment industry PR plus the fact that the newspaper has damn near fired experience reporters and staff for the sake of balancing a budget make me not inclined to pick up a copy.

So in a way I support folks wanting to make their local media more accountable to their communities. How could I not want that to happen? But I ain’t holding my breath on it. Not in Los Angeles.

What I do want to see happen is more people become aware of other resources. Why didn’t that woman go to the BBC? Search YouTube for videos coming out of Greece? European financial blogs and resources?

Because she did not know those and may more resources are now present and available to her.

We who are creator using web video, audio and other new media tools have got to do a better job of outreach.

Other Posts of Interest

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