The Printing Press heralded a benchmark, liberalising and decentralising information. Little wonder then that the Protestant revolution, as well as scientific and philosophical enlightenment, erupted once dissemination of knowledge fell out of the hands of the Vatican. Incremental steps began with a desire met for people to read the Bible in their native language, seeing with their own eyes verses not scribed by monks, able to interpret scripture for themselves. Now, monk scribes couldn't alter parts of the sacred texts that possibly didn't sit well with them, controlling the discourse of divinity as they saw fit. The Vatican retaliated, such as the Inquisition and imprisonment of Galileo for life, due to his crime of rightly advocating that Earth orbits the Sun. Though with the cat out of the bag, so to speak, it grew and became a tiger intent on ferally protecting its fevered expansion into freedoms.
The internet became the modern equivalent of the epoch changing invention of the Printing Press, as communication throughout the 20th century turned into a convenience rather than a necessity. Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the internet, preaches to this day how his creation should act as a cornerstone of free expression, an ethic once the lifeblood of a genuinely free press that should hold the world accountable. Post World War II came the Cold War, a wary, 45-year stalemate between capitalism and communism, democracy and dictator that ended when capitalism went into overdrive, namely through Thatcherism/Reaganomics. Shortly after the Iron Curtain fell, the Maastricht Treaty formed the European Union in 1993, paving the way for the Euro and earnest expansion east. Across the Atlantic, Bill Clinton set down NAFTA as a method of easy trade between the US, Canada and Mexico; the two moves sewed up much of the Northern Hemisphere's strongest economies between them.
What's the association between economic deals and the freedom of the press/information? The answer, deregulation. These huge trade agreements deregulated all industries, putting everything up for sale so not only is everyone now a customer, they are a commodity too, which includes the dissemination of their information. Political pressure and the wealthy took the supposed egalitarian ideal of free markets and used less strict rules on monopoly as an excuse to buy up all around them, including newspapers. In the UK, only nine companies own just six corporations own all of the biggest selling newspapers and 90% of media in America. Each owner has their individual political biases and efficiently use their papers as a mouthpiece for their leanings, allowing readers to ingest the precise political diet editors are told to feed an audience.
The world began to take notice of the web at the close of the twentieth century; people could converse on a global scale, and with the advent of social media, iTunes and YouTube, the spread of multimedia became viral. This decade has left no stone unturned regarding people accessing whatever information they please, faster than anything hot off the presses ever could. A prospect such as the masses consuming and even worse, making their media is enough to give the mainstream, legacy media a hissy fit of hatred, taking the shape of PewDiePie allegedly being a Nazi and pressurising advertisers to pull commercials from "problematic" videos. Here the term "Legacy Media" really comes into its own, never learning from the lesson of prohibition never works. First of all, Google is stronger than mainstream media, as YouTube's owner, it needs to understand that it has reached a position where it should answer to no one. However, YouTube forms a fraction of Google's profits, so it can afford to neglect the platform and carry on with their profits growing, although this hesitation could well lead to other platforms rising, such as Vid.me. Supply evolves when demand is present. Advertising does not ring a death knell for independent creators making money either, Patreon, PayPal and Bitcoin wallets break through the commercial paywall mainstream media covets. Adaptation is the key to survival, the media refuses to catch up and despite the desperation and Fake News furore, life finds a way.
#Minds, #Politics, #News.
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