I like to imagine that a lot of people perform the cliché end-of-year introspection ritual. I like to imagine that people who take the time, genuinely enjoy the review of the good moments, and intend to do something to keep from repeating the not so good moments. I’ll get around to my own, but I’ve spent the last few days reviewing the incredible impact that media, mainstream and social, has had on conversations in my personal circle of influence and influencers this year. The conclusions are cringe-worthy.
Late in 2012, Twitter released its top trends report. Conservative new media crowed about the popularity of #tcot , and Democrats laughed. As difficult as it is to read what passes for media in mainstream and more left leaning outlets, the facts of that particular headline is accurate in terms of public opinion and political reality. In March, Pew released a poll indicating that sentiment on Twitter is often at odds with public opinion. That poll has stuck in my mind as I watch debates unfold on social media.
The whole of 2013 brought little good in the way of restored freedoms for America. What 2013 did bring, was a more-than-ever polarized media. Yahoo’s most searched stories reveals that consumers of news were treated to very little in the way of good news in 2013. Nearly every issue on their list ( and many that didn’t make the top ten list) was a catalyst for heated political debate in some form or another… on social media. Much of that debate has shifted to the credibility and coverage by the media outlets, themselves. Comes now the New York Times reviving the video-to-blame narrative on Benghazi and MSNBC criticizing Romney’s family for interracial adoption, and the #tcot Twitter force attacking ( rightfully) the facts.. but forgetting the WHY of both of these stories. There are narratives to preserve, and the general population still believes them.
If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I do music. I couldn’t couldn’t have written a better anthem to describe my opinion of state of media, including new media than this:
What in 2014 for conservative/libertarian/constitutional media? Fox has a secure place in news delivery, and will hold its own. Conservative new media struggles to find that balance between presenting their own narrative and fact while appealing to a broader base. Breaking out of the echo chamber must be a 2014 priority for #tcot and #tlot media, and I see good beginnings in some bloggers reaching out to traditionally left-leaning sites, but I caution strongly against adopting the style guide of left-leaning media. I also hope that the new media pundits keep in mind that they cannot just inform. With midterms here, we are way behind in community organizing. Take a few lessons from the left on ends, not means. Work to inspire your audience to do more than vote. Urge them to get physically involved. We should already be working on ensuring a 2016 presidential field that loves liberty .
Appeal, but don’t appease. Be above factual reproach. Fact isn’t fiction, but suspicion is the new (media) religion.