Submitted by blindboy on Sat, 11/19/2016 - 11:19
Why we represent something important!
One of the issues that is widely mentioned in the rise of Trump and other populists is the ability of people to seek information and debate from areas of the mass media and social media where they will find those who agree with them. The viewers of Fox News are unlikely to be readers of The New Yorker and vice versa. Conservative Christians go to Facebook pages that reinforce their views. LGBT supporters go to their own pages and so on.
Swellnet, being mainly concerned with surfing, has no natural political constituency. Those contributing to the forums represent the full spectrum of opinion. This, from time to time, drives us towards what might be called incivility. Being just as guilty as anyone else on that issue I am not in a position to moralise, but what I will say is that we should value this place for the diversity of opinion it provides and hope that it never becomes an echo chamber.
BB, some brave assumptions there. Eg " viewers of Fox are unlikely to be readers of the New Yorker" ... hmmm. Also, SN contributors 'represent the full spectrum of opinion'.
I would guess that is your 'gut' view. And there in, is the conundrum. How and where we all gain our opinions and 'facts'. It seems we can't from mainstream media. We cant from the Internet. So where to now ...
Maybe if I bring it down to local references you will see the point. Does anyone read the Daily Telegraph and The Sydney Morning Herald? Do people watch the SBS News as well as Fox News? The increase in media outlets allows people to seek outlets that confirm their existing opinions and prejudices. The Internet takes this to a whole new level. My point is that it is only in sites that do not specialise in news or opinion pieces that you are likely to get any real diversity. For me that has always been true of Swellnet. If it is not a complete cross-section it is much broader than any other site I visit.
It is always interesting to read the views and opinions of both the front and back bench members of the swellnet political scene. From the public gallery it is worth while to have so much information debated.
My political views generally lean a little off centre to the right, but i actually follow left leaning media ABC & RRR radio (mostly because i hate commercial radio advertising and commercial music)
And online i get my media from ABC and SBS.
Then social media wise most of what i see is mostly far left as most of my friends have far left views.
RRR in particular far lefts views can drive me absolutely crazy though.
My experience too BB.
I appreciate the diversity of views.
its becoming more prevalent that journalists are specialising in opinion tarted up as facts. truth in social media is what people make it these days. gone are the days of clearly labelling where your information came from. popularity now trumps all.
too true happy
i remain optimistic though. :)