Postmodern media-spheres: The wisdom of crowds hits the campaign trail

Tired of modernist nagging? Having the suspicion that the Frankfurt School became old school decades ago? Sick of your parents complaining that the world is going down the drain because they're not able to press a button on a joypad (= are not media literate)?! I have the balm for your tortured soul: Postmodernism media-spheres. While doing research for my thesis I came across this little piece (Cunningham, Stuart: "History, Contexts, Politics, Policy" in Turner, Graeme; Cunningham, Stuart (ed.): The Australian TV Book, Allen & Unwin, 2000):

Traditional concepts of influence came from a time when old media were new and people were trying to grasp on what they might mean for society. Now there is widespread media literacy and... [it should be] acknowledged that media content is simply part and parcel of the landscape and that it matters less for what it can do to people than what people can do with it (get jobs, find self-expression and community and cultural expression, communicate globally etc.). This view radically flattens the topography of the haves and have-nots and renders issues of ownership and control of marginal significance.

For anyone in doubt: Check the latest HuffPost project. Working with they are recruiting large groups of citizen journalists from around the country to cover the major presidential candidates:

Each of these volunteer reporter/bloggers will contribute to a candidate-specific group blog -- offering written updates, campaign tidbits, on-the-scene observations, photos, or original video... Each offering a wide variety of voices and perspectives on the campaign they are following. These group blogs will also be a compendium of useful information about each candidate, including their latest speeches, upcoming appearances, new videos and ads, recent news articles and more.

Our citizen journalists will be independent -- focused on their piece of the puzzle, and not what everyone around them thinks. They will be decentralized -- spread across the country, with no one on high giving them their marching orders. And they will be as diverse as possible -- a mix of campaign insiders devoted to their candidates, neutral outsiders, passionate partisans and steely-eyed observers. The mosaic of their perspectives will add a varied portrait to the traditional coverage of the candidates and their campaigns.

Goddammit, you gotta love postmodernism!