Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Time mag says 'You'
are person of the year

Dan Gillmor has some thoughts here, including this note:

The world has changed, as the magazine's writers, photographers, artists and editors captured in this issue. Here's the issue: It's changed even more than they may want to concede deep down in their essentially top-down, corporate gut.

Jeff Jarvis has a somewhat different take on the piece over here, where he says:

Well, I suppose I should give Time some credit for recognizing the power of the people. Only thing is, there’s no news here. This is nothing new. We have always been in charge. It’s just that the people who thought they had the power now have no choice to but hear us and recognize that we are, and always have been, the boss.
To which I'd say, well, not really.

"We the people" have always been the ultimate authority, of course, but the average reader wasn't really in charge. In the same way that comparison shopping on the web drives auto prices down toward a lowest common denominator, the disintermediation of media has likewise empowered news consumers beyond the norms of earlier times. This is a good thing, despite the discomfort it brings to us aging Gatekeepers and the damage it does to our econommic model.

Remember this exchange from Citizen Kane?

Emily: Really Charles, people will think ...
Charles Foster Kane: ... what I tell them to think.
Or A.J. Liebling's rather more arch observation: "Competitive newspapers love the little man; his name is circulation."
–Howard Weaver

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