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On Mon, 20 Sep 1993 [log in to unmask] wrote:
 
>     it is also one of the greatest dangers of the medium.  You can
> get your single source of "opinion" directly from the
> spin-doctors...without anyone there to point out blatent lies or
> oversights.
 
I guess that's a job William Randolph Hearst did pretty well for all of
us. ;-)
 
>     I beleive that the "Dan Rather"'s and "New York Times"'s opinions
> are very important in reporting news.  And it would be a great shame
> if these voices are lost as people make a transition to an
> electronic medium.
 
Yes they are important.  But equally important is the ability to broaden
informed debate -- public deliberation around the issues.  That's kind of
hard staring at the tube, and one of the things that gives networked
information potency.  But of course, this isn't an "either/or" situation.
We need both.  We also need more face-to-face.  But the point is we need
more public discussion of these issues.  And the net can help.  Besides, I
think Clinton was elected, not Dan Rather.  And who will keep Dan
Rather in line?  Channel grazing cattle, switching him off for Bart Simpson?
 
>     Just as in "real-life" <tm> as the amount of traffic on the
> networks increase the amount of sorces people will read from will
> decrease.  And the alure of getting information "straight from the
> source" will give the people in power *more* control over us.
 
I should hope we'll get better at building tools for searching, sorting,
browsing and prioritizing the fire-hose.  Personally, give me a choice
between the NYT, Dan Rather, the Economist and the Net, and I would chose
the last two hands-down -- and maybe a little short-wave radio, Utne
Reader, and few other sources.  Of course -- NOTHING will ever replace a
newspaper and the morning coffee IMHO.
 
I heard a good story from someone involved with the National Performance
Review, last week.  The day it was released, it seems an elderly woman
from Tuscon who lives in a retirement community learned (probably from
Good Morning America or something) that the National Performance Review
was available everywhere through something called the Internet.  She
didn't know what that meant -- but she wanted it and figured her
Congressional office would know.  They didn't, she persisted, they finally
made calls, found out the local Depository Library should be able to help,
put her in touch with them, they didn't have a clue, she persisted, they
finally figured it out -- downloaded it, printed it out, gave it to her,
she took it home and passed it around her political discussion group that
night, because they wanted to find out FOR THEMSELVES what the dang thing
was all about.
 
I think that's what we're talking about here.
 
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Center for Civic Networking                        Richard Civille
P.O. Box 65272                                     Washington Director
Washington, DC 20035                               [log in to unmask]
(202) 362-3831
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