The media has really suffered at the hands of the Internet in recent times. Thanks to the emergence of the world wide web, anyone can be a journalist. Blogs rise daily, competing directly with newspapers’ online editions for market share. However, has this blooming of Joe Bloggs’ cast a shadow over the quality and fairness of media stories?
This blog is, of course, directly focused on Rangers, but there is a wider issue of whether the media have become saturated, their quality diluted due how anyone can produce a piece of journalism whether employed or not. Has it affected, in particular their reporting of the Old Firm, and Rangers?
Rangers fans have, particularly in the last 10 years, lent their voices increasingly to a stable of thought which believes the media, such as certain broadcasters and news organisations, are less than impartial when it comes to reporting their club and fans. This article will not engage with that debate, due to the sheer overbearing controversy of the entire subject, but will pose the question and argue the case that no matter which way individuals view the media, the growth of forums, blogs, and other online media has inalienably changed the structure of it.
During the 90s, Celtic fans were famously regarded as ‘paranoid tims’, due to their belief that sections of society (the media) deliberately targeted them, reporting and focusing on only the negative stories. The Sun, as recently as 2000, appeared to revel in their defeat to ICT at Parkhead and printed the now famous ‘Ballistic’ headline, before the Daily Record joined in with an equally famous image of their crest cracked down the middle. So there is past evidence of negative stories focused on the East End.
Now that Rangers fans are feeling the same heat, (especially in relation to the BBC) is it due to the growth of Internet and mobile phone based media? Have broadcasters lost their cutting edge and ability to report truth in favour of competing with end users who, 10 years ago, would have been considered irrelevant?
This blog could not have existed 10 years ago, and many like it give rise to opinion and articles which are consumed by the masses in ways the printed press had an exclusivity to a decade or so ago. In short, perhaps what was once a high quality media who tended towards fact have now loosened the moral belt considerably given they now have peers outwith the media who can produce and publish a high quality article, for no fee, and gain the kind of audience the printed press once boasted.
Of course, this is mere supposition, and does not begin to delve into the murky world of agendas, bias, and partial reporting. There are undeniably individuals in the ‘professional’ media who will have allegiances one way or another and will find it hard to remain honourable to journalism.
That said, they and the rest of them must compete with the new age of technology, and the normal blogger, forum user and Tweeter for attention. Is it too ridiculous a notion that this is partially a reason the media is so poor these days?
Just a thought.