Does Choice Breed Isolation?

There is an idea floating around, a “meme” if you will, that by creating his own news media and adapting everything to his tastes, Oliver destroys the concept of a public space. Replicated on a generational scale, it will lead to towering isolation.

I must disagree. The concept of public space is finally being fulfilled in the blogs. Through comments, diaries and E-Mail readers shape their blogs and create an evolving, free-flowing community. They bring their friends to the site, friends that interact with other groups of people who arrived through a different reader. It’s exceedingly problematic for a public space to be defined by someone other than the participants, a state of affairs that we’ve been seeing for generations now. We’re just now moving to a public space defined by the participants and though that change will certainly have growing pains, it can only end in something more participatory, more organic and more authentic for its participants. No longer can the media decide what its readers care about (no matter how well-intentioned or wise their choices), now the participants decide what subjects need to dominate their communal space and they take responsibility to cover them and fill their space with their stories, histories and perspectives.

The authenticity of these interactions creates a much closer bond and more fulfilling sense of involvement than does the traditional top-down direction of broadcast media. Isolation is the exact opposite of what happens, the actual problem is too much involvement which can lead to deep echo chambers that had no way to form previously.

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