Salsa Scoop> News as Lifestyle Choice

News as Lifestyle Choice

Eschaton thinks news organizations that won't publish [politically inconvenient] "graphic" images are engaging in an act of absurdity/futility because of the existence of the Internet. I'm just thinking out loud here, but playing with the idea that on the contrary, now that such images are certain to be available to anyone who cares to find them, traditional news outlets' publication decisions are increasingly public declarations of the sort that would be termed "lifestyle" were they made by an individual: the voluntary association or disassociation of the publishing entity with those memes embodied by the story. Paying more to buy union-made contributes infinitesimally to unions' real bargaining positions -- it's about being the kind of person who buys union-made, either outwardly (to please/appall peers/authorities/romantic interests) or inwardly, in one's conscience. Similarly, it doesn't matter* from the standpoint of the public's access to the footage whether ABC News broadcasts Saddam Hussein's hanging. But it might matter to a host of accepted markers of institutional authority in certain audiences -- all ultimately chits standing in for the value of Disney stock -- whether ABC News is the kind of news organization that would broadcast Saddam's hanging. News as lifestyle choice. Not a bad description of the rise of blogs like, well, Eschaton. *It doesn't literally matter zero, at least not yet (and it matters proportionally more for stories of lesser circulation). But we're going with the curve of the trend here.


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