Industry, Technology and Politics
Edited By Alec Charles
Mick Temple A Forum for Fruitcakes and Fascists: the Saviour of Mainstream Journalism
This chapter argues that, in an increasingly fragmented news environment, mainstream journalism needs to act as a forum for a wider range of view- points. The internet is now full of news providers and bloggers presenting their spin on events from their own particular ideological perspectives. The current narrow focus of mainstream news organisations, ideologically and in terms of the types of stories covered and the perspectives given a platform, has been exposed by the wide range of opinions available online. Those opinions, often downright unpleasant, were once persona non grata in ‘respectable’ company, but many ‘unacceptable’ views are widely held and their social, political and cultural importance is undeniable. For two major reasons – the mainstream news media’s own survival and for their importance in informing the public sphere – it is vital that all shades of opinion are represented in an aggregated form in an electronic global world. The Need for Free Expression The argument that there should be a forum for the widest possible range of views has a long pedigree. Nearly four centuries ago in his Areopagitica, John Milton developed the concept of the open market of ideas, express- ing the ‘revolutionary ideology’ of radical and progressive ideas fighting a ‘declining absolutist and authoritarian order’. This concept played an important role in the rise of bourgeois economic and political power as capitalism emerged. The sole guarantor of the ‘victory of reason and truth 192 Mick Temple in the public sphere’ is the free circulation of ideas and opinions:...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.