Bypassing the media filter

Writing in the Telegraph, a Member of Parliament relates that he gave a Brown-bashing speech in Parliament that was completely ignored by the media.  But he also put the video of the speech up on YouTube and found that the internet is fantastic at bypassing the media filter on what is “news”:

The internet has changed politics – changed it utterly and forever. Twenty-four hours ago, I made a three-minute speech in the European Parliament, aimed at Gordon Brown. I tipped off the BBC and some of the newspaper correspondents but, unsurprisingly, they ignored me: I am, after all, simply a backbench MEP.

When I woke up this morning, my phone was clogged with texts, my email inbox with messages. Overnight, the YouTube clip of my remarks had attracted over 36,000 hits. By today, it was the most watched video in Britain.

How did it happen, in the absence of any media coverage? The answer is that political reporters no longer get to decide what’s news. The days when a minister gave briefings to a dozen lobby correspondents, and thereby dictated the next day’s headlines, are over. Now, a thousand bloggers decide for themselves what is interesting. If enough of them are tickled then, bingo, you’re news.

When I look back on the time before the internet, I truly wonder how much the media monopoly on the news resulted in bad policy and a misinformed public.  He continues:

Breaking the press monopoly is one thing. But the internet has also broken the political monopoly. Ten or even five years ago, when the Minister for Widgets put out a press release, the mere fact of his position guaranteed a measure of coverage. Nowadays, a politician must compel attention by virtue of what he is saying, not his position.

It’s all a bit unsettling for professional journalists and politicians. But it’s good news for libertarians of every stripe. Lefties have always relied on control, as much of information as of physical resources. Such control is no longer technically feasible.

That is a wonderful thing.  The talking heads, almost all hardcore Leftists,  no longer get to decide what is news.  That is very good for freedom.

But of course, you can then ask yourself: how did that empty suit radical get elected President?  Many Americans are morons, that’s how.

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