Skip to comments.Archbishop Ludd
Posted on 06/17/2005 7:38:32 AM PDT by sionnsar
I don't know if he's ever been here or not but it appears that Rowan Williams is not fond of web sites like this one:
Awareness of this paradox explicit or implicit awareness is part of what has generated and encouraged the world of new news, exploiting the once unimagined possibilities of the electronic media. It is the world of the weblog and the independent media centre; it is interactive, restlessly conscious of its own transient nature. If the classical journalist just occasionally nurtured the illusion of writing or speaking for posterity, no such fantasy is possible in the electronic world. In one way, it is the reductio ad absurdum of marketised information, indiscriminate information flow. From another perspective, the users immediate access to both the producer and the rest of the audience radically undermines some of the power of the producer. Classical media outlets claim to serve democracy but often subvert the possibilities of an active, critically questioning public by assuming the passive undifferentiated public we have been thinking about. The drift in some quarters to near-monopolistic practices, the control of the product by careful monitoring of response and periodic re-designing these evaporate when we turn to internet journalism. Ian Hargreaves, in his excellent Journalism: Truth or Dare, gives a sharp account of the difference made by these developments; surely this is the context in which genuinely unpalatable truths can still be told, unsullied by the preoccupations of the mainstream media (p.259)?
Yes and no. Unwelcome truth and necessary and prompt rebuttal are characteristic of the web-based media. So are paranoid fantasy, self-indulgent nonsense and dangerous bigotry. The atmosphere is close to that of unpoliced conversation which tends to suggest that the very idea of an appropriate professionalism for journalists begins to dissolve. Many traditional newspapers and broadcasters now offer online versions of their product and many have allowed interactive elements to come into their regular material, for example by printing debates conducted on the web. But they have not thereby abandoned the claims of professional privilege. The question that seems to pose itself is whether a balance can be struck between the professionalism of the classical media and the relative free-for-all of online communication.
Care to name any names, Dr. Williams? If I associated the words "paranoid fantasy, self-indulgent nonsense and dangerous bigotry" with the words "web-based media," I'd mention a site or two to illustrate my point instead of indiscriminately lumping good sites with bad ones. Do you mean this site? This one? Or this one perhaps?
And I know you're a convinced European but why is an "unpoliced conversation" a bad thing? On this side of the Atlantic, we tend to let anyone say any idiotic idea that pops into their heads. That's that First Amendment thing our "professional media" is always going on about. See, that applies to every person in this country whether or not they're a member of the "professional media." Because we figured out a long time ago that good ideas drive out bad ones.
Archbishop of Canterbury Reads Stand Firm
Stand Firm, Mississippi
How else to explain this:
In a lecture to media professionals, politicians and church leaders at Lambeth Palace in London last night, Dr Williams wondered whether a balance could be struck between the professionalism of the classical media and the relative disorder of online communication.
If the archbishop is right - and he may well be - then the only reason there's "paranoid fantasy, self-indulgent nonsense and dangerous bigotry" on the web - at least as far as the Anglican crisis goes - is because there continues to be a vacuum where his authority and decisiveness should be. Fools have rushed in where angels fear to tread.
Here's hoping that the next time the archbishop is in the mood for invective, he'll instead take a stand on something that's truly important. Like, say... the apostasy that's eating away at his church from the inside.
I wonder what the Archbishop would consider "policed"?
And once again I am grateful for our First Amendment.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.