Audience Atomization Overcome? That sounds overly complex to me. Fortunately, the article the name comes from: Audience Atomization Overcome: Why the Net Erodes the Authority of the Press by Jay Rosen on The Huffington Post isn’t nearly as hard to understand as the title given it.
The first part of the article focuses on the inherent and often unacknowledged bias of political journalism. I think in some ways that bias can be carried out to more than just politics and more than just journalism. Anyone acting as an expert or authority on a subject fills the role described I think.
But it wasn’t the first part of the article that got me to read it. I wanted to hear how the net is changing things. That is the focus of the second part of the article, it talks about how blogs allow like minded individuals to network and share their ideas.
It’s all well and good, I agree with a lot of the article more or less, but I was disappointed that it didn’t touch on the fact that this benefit that comes with the internet, how easy it is for people to share news and their opinions also places a burden on the consumer of that information. Because anyone can have a voice the reader must determine if the author they are reading has any authority on a given subject at all. It’s easy for someone to create a professional looking website or blog and then spew total nonsense while acting like an expert.
That is what I see as one of the biggest hurtles to online media. The consumer has to be much more vigilent about what they read and how much they scrutinize it. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. But because there is hardly ever anyone fact checking blog posts I think news and media must be consumed online in a much different fashion than with the traditional medial.