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Media Bias vs. the Digital Divide – Who are you really fighting for?

This Wednesday’s “intern training” (and I use that terminology loosely) session involved watching “Orwell Rolls in His Grave”, a documentary about media monopolizing giants. A little dated and one-sided, but a decent piece nonetheless. Either way, it led to a discussion about “what can we do?” Sadly, the focus was on bringing down and crucifying the big media corporations and not on looking at the communities that are affected.

Again, another example of fighting the giant but not fighting for the villages it’s destroying.

Anyone with two eyes and a brain who isn’t getting paid to think otherwise can see that everything that we see via the media (TV, newspapers, magazines and the Internet) is moderated and controlled by a few large corporations. News companies are extremely skewed in terms of political polarity (::ahem:: Fox News). Music companies are music video TV are tied entirely too much to commercialism and less to actual art (MTV anyone?). But these are things that we know in the same way that we know that the government hates poor people. And until the modern day David comes along with the proverbial slingshot and destroys the big bad giants, this is really a battle that we can’t win alone.

However, there is a war that is being ignored. We know that media is corrupt, so we want to fight it. However, we also know that access to media is biased on a class level, and we ignore it, because it isn’t “sensational enough” or fund-able. While it’s true that people in urban areas do have cable and phones and newspapers for the most part, they all don’t have computers or Internet. Thanks to new technology, the cell phone companies have helped close the digital divide in their own way by making it almost standard that cell phones have Internet capabilities. Step one completed. Now all we need is wifi everywhere right? I know that this may be very idealistic of me, but why is that so difficult? With organizations like the Boston Wireless Task Force in existence, why can’t each city have an organization focused on getting wireless Internet in urban areas? In Boston, there are areas with free wifi…why not Dorchester or Roxbury (and I don’t mean West Roxbury).

Basically, it’s not about the question “what are we fighting for?” It’s more about “who are we fighting for?”

I just find it interesting that some people claim to be concerned about urban areas and want to work with a more lower-class mind set, but they’re fighting upper- and middle- class villains.



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September 2009
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