Before I write up my piece responding to Stephen Hill’s thing about public radio and podcating, I’m going to do an experiment. If it works, I’ll always do this before tackling any of this “Thing X” vs “Thing Y” written by someone who has a dog in the fight (whether or not I’m rooting on that dog.) I’m calling it either “Stacked Deck Normalization” or “Straw Man MRI”. The idea being, let’s get a sense of where the sympathies lie in as succinct a manner as possible.
In order to do this, I’m going to go through his piece and extract out only the adjectives or adjectival phrases that are applied to the generality of either the public radio/old media or podcasting/citizen media/new media spaces. My theory is that this will be illustrative. I got a sense of the deck being stacked while reading it, and by stripping out everything but these couple of words I think we can go straight to the sympathies.
Public Radio/ Old Media:
slow, polite, idealistic, chronically underfunded, niche content, small audiences, donation business models, descending spiral of pandering to audiences, endless lifestyle fundraising specials, pathetic subversion of the original mission, high production value, high quality, high performance standards, greater experience and resources, incumbent program brands, production expertise
Podcasting/ New Media:
brutal techno-Darwinism-on-crystal-meth, “truth” (yes, in quotes) relevance, creativity, amateurish, casual, creative, offbeat, inconsistent, self-indugent, libertarian values, open standards, transparency, interactive ethics, superior distribution technology, smutty charms, unique talents
That was harder than it seemed like it would be. I tried to only use the terms applied to the whole of the fields, not to specific things. I also tried scrupulously not to cherry pick and to take both positive and negatives used on either side. Still, taken as a whole don’t those two lists tell quite a story? Even though Stephen Hill might think he’s being even-handed, and it reads like he wants to be, his underlying assumptions still shine through. I mean, who in their right mind would want the “brutal techno-Darwinism-on-crystal meth world of smutty charms” over the “high production values and high quality?” Well, besides me, that is.
To be continued.