As technology advances, we have found ourselves facing several questions not only about the media, but ones that connect it with human rights, social situations or concerns, and even the education of future generations.

Robert McChesney has brought up several points about media conglomerates being for-profit evils that create uniformity in content that is presented to the public, but something even more important to consider is their impact.

Obviously this issue is affecting not just our information intake but the health of our economy as well. These new technologies are having such a prominent role in our lives that it’s changing the infrastructure of our global economy. Other countries are realizing this as well and attempting to adapt and even mimic the U.S.’s communications model.

In a related part of our group’s discussion, David brought up some very good questions: “Is access to information a human right? Should it be? At what point do we recognize that high-speed access to information is becoming as important to a nation’s economic stability as is their access to natural resources or their ability to produce valuable exports? Unfortunately, if a nation cannot keep up with the fast pace of global economics, we will continue to see the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. This does not bode well for current third-world countries, and is just another item to add to their list of needs when considering global aid.”

In some countries laws have already been formed to accommodate for these technological developments. Finland, for example, became the first country to “declare broadband Internet access a legal right” in October of 2009. Do you think that other countries should follow suit? Is Internet access a human right since its role in our economy today is so grand?

Later on in Chapter 16, McChesney also says that new communication technologies cannot solve social problems because “only humans acting consciously can address and resolve these issues.”

To me it is understandable to say that alone and without the participation of people, these technologies will not solve problems, however, I feel that this is one of the great things about the Internet. The Internet has become a place where people can consciously fight for something they believe in and try to gain support. They discuss social issues they are concerned about and many people share suggestions or their perspectives as well. I feel like the Internet is a main facilitator for change socially.

So when he states that new communication technologies can’t solve these problems because only people acting consciously can…well it makes me ask questions.

What does that mean for the people who are stating their opinions and suggesting solutions for issues online nowadays? How about the nonprofits that gain more support through the reach of their websites, which are focused on addressing and changing these social problems? What about our president who utilizes e-mail and video elements to communicate how he’s addressing issues we’ve deemed important?

Isn’t this use of the Internet showing people acting consciously to address valid concerns?

McChesney, I’m not sure how I feel about you.


Tweeting Your Feelings

November 21, 2009

When Courtney Love becomes a headliner for a section in CNN, many of us being to wonder where journalism is going these days; however this article asks a pretty interesting and valid question. Can the law keep up with technology?

Taking her frustration out on Twitter, Courtney Love has been accused of posting derogatory and false comments about a clothing designer after arguing over the prices of some items. Due to her tweets, she is now being sued for libel.

This story doesn’t sound too unfamiliar to us. Consider the situation between Amanda Bonnen and her landlord when she tweeted about mold in her apartment. Once the reality company found out what was said, they sued her for libel and seeked $50,000 in damages.

Although social media networks aren’t considered the most credible sources sometimes, it is definitely showing signs of impact on other’s reputation. With this in mind, I believe laws might begin to form for these types of sites eventually, especially since there have been several issues with the networking sites already.

This made me wonder: would the creation of a social media law infringe too much on our freedom of speech?