Friday, June 22, 2007

Taming the Feral Beast?

"British newspapers will and should be subject to some form of new external regulation, the outgoing prime minister, Tony Blair, said yesterday in a broadside that attacked the media for behaving like feral beasts and eschewing balance or proportion ... He admitted that his own attempts to bypass traditional media through websites and press conferences had been "to no avail". He also conceded that he was partly to blame for the predicament, saying his determination to convey the Labour message in the period of opposition and early years in government had made him complicit in the decline in news standards."

Mr. Blair is probably stepping down just in time.  True the press can be as unfair, incompetent and brutal as anyone else in society. But this didn't start with Tony Blair and this press. Yes, there is more of it and yes, it is a business where being first is often worth more than being accurate, but different times present different dilemmas requiring different solutions.

Ours is a time of rapid change in media technology and the empowerment of the masses. The press feels the pressure not only to compete with one another but with, literally, the man on the street. This circumstance will escalate until the the next media "plateau" is reached and there is a sorting out and stabilization of how we receive news and information and how we process opinion.

If  Mr. Blair was incapable of getting his message out with all the apparatus available to him both politically and governmentally and with the ease with which  technology can make one person into a virtual media empire, then perhaps it was not how he got his message out, but what his message contained. All politicians have a shelf life. Mr. Blair has reached his.

Long Island is no different than the rest of the world. Our challenge in to find a way to convey accurate information both to the organization and to the individual and to process that information for the common good.  

There will always be differences of opinion, personal ego, business concerns and a thousand other reasons not to cooperate. 

The Long Island Congress and Long Island 3.0 concepts are an attempt to allow for "more light than heat" on our important public policy issues.

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