Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Dumping the term "mainstream media"

Kos makes a good point in one of his postings today:
Maybe I'll write more about this later, but I hate the phrase "mainstream media". What a dumb-ass label. This site gets more visitors than many cable news shows and newspapers. So how are they "mainstream", and this site isn't?

If I may posit a neutral (non-political) alternative: the Traditional Media. That's what I'll be using from now on.
Anyone who's read Don't Think of an Elephant also knows that George Lakoff has documented that progressive values are in fact not out of the "mainstream" of American political thought at all. So why are we referring to newspapers, TV and (some) radio stations as "mainstream" media?

To do so implies that we are extremists. We don't see ourselves as extremists, so that doesn't make any sense. From now on, we'll be using the term "traditional media" as well, to describe newspapers, magazines, TV, and (some) radio.

Just to be clear, conservative news "organizations" like FOX and the Weekly Standard are not "traditional media" even though they use traditional mediums. That's because they're clearly biased towards one political point of view.

Over the last century, we've developed a tradition of seperating news (reporting) and views (editorials) with most news organizations striving for objectivity. With the advent of the Republican Noise Machine, though, a new kind of media has emerged (or, reemerged) - media which has a partisan slant.

Now, we do not claim on this blog to be objective, or unbiased. We don't believe our job is to report "both sides of the story." That's a big difference between us and the traditional media (which we'll abbreviate to TDM).

Conservatives will disagree with this statement (of course) but we don't distort the truth. We have opinions, but they're based on facts. If we are wrong, we believe in making corrections. The other side also has opinions, but they're often not based on facts. And they don't believe in corrections because it'd make them look weak. (Ever seen O'Reilly correct himself after lying?)

So from now on, we're done using the term "mainstream media". It's "traditional media" from now on.

UPDATE: Others are suggesting replacing mainstream media with "corporate media", or "conventional media" or "legacy media", or "infotainment". Those are interesting ideas but we'll stick with "traditional media" for now, for the reasons we explained above.

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