XARK 3.0

  • Xark began as a group blog in June 2005 but continues today as founder Dan Conover's primary blog-home. Posts by longtime Xark authors Janet Edens and John Sloop may also appear alongside Dan's here from time to time, depending on whatever.

Xark media

  • ALIENS! SEX! MORE ALIENS! AND DUBYA, TOO! Handcrafted, xarky science fiction, lovingly typeset for your home printer!



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2005

Statcounter has my back

Main | "I Saw It On TV" »

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Very good manifesto. I think the media section could be better though. The media is owned by billionaires and they hire people who reflect their own biases. This of course means an extreme rightwing economic bias and on anything that touches economics. Including how international news is covered.

If the foreign nation has rightwing economic policies in place and/or one way or another are relatively 'friendly' to US interests, they receive much better coverage than others.

Manufacturing Consent by Herman and Chomsky is a good book on this subject. If you haven't read it (which it appears you haven't) that's an essential one.


I like your/Kundera's thoughts on kitsch BTW.


Read it about a year or so ago. Wrote this four years ago.


Just as an aside, I read back over the media section with an eye toward Chomsky, and even though I hadn't read him at the time, I don't think his ideas would have clashed with what I wrote.

I also think it's fundamentally important to acknowledge this little fact: I earned an undergraduate degree from a J-school (UNC 1990) that was considered one of the top journalism programs in the United States, and at no time during my two-year course of study was I required -- or even encouraged -- to read Chomsky, McLuhan or any of the other great media philosophers and critics.

Journalism students at UNC were well prepared to walk into newsrooms and start churning out and copy editing stories, but we weren't given ANY tools for thinking about the meaning of those acts. The complexity of mass media in a global, pluralistic society was a known topic even in the late 20th century, yet the people who ran my J-school decided undergraduates needn't be oriented to it.

Well, why is that? What mission was that department fulfilling? My personal conclusion was it wasn't an intellectual mission -- not in the sense of inquiry into open-ended questions. And I think that speaks to the cultural weirdness of a professional press corps that is traditionally anti-intellectual, even as it engages in what is a profoundly intellectual exercise: writing about what is happening in the world.

We believed in simplicity, but it became a simplicity based on ignoring evidence rather than boiling things down to useful principles.

Did our employers want journalists who thought critically about committing journalism? No. They wanted people who showed up and did what they were told, and they doled out the perks accordingly. I benefited from that system for most of my career, until I discovered the web, and through it the rest of the world, and then wandered off the reservation.

The comments to this entry are closed.