We got a break this week from the usual lecture format and watched a movie; "Page One: Inside The New York Times". The movie was interesting in that it depicted the struggle that "the old" media platforms had against new technologies and new news collecting strategies. The movie was heavily biased towards the N.Y.T., but obviously any other angle would not have been approved by the company. They staged some convincing arguments for the preservation of elite, well researched news over the convenience of presenting information that may be relevant to the second, but offered without the power of hindsight to analyze it. However, regardless of its legitimacy, it showed that the N.Y.T had to adapt to the modern climate, and that that had many ramifications, such as massive layoffs to remain competitive. This movie coincided with the highly public "wiki leaks" phenomenon, and showed how Julian Assange considered himself as an activist first and a journalist second. His approach to publishing information was by presenting all information wholesale using online mediums, which required journalists analysis before being presented in newspapers. In such a way Assange showed the modern ease in which information can be broadcast, but still requires analysis before it can be applied in any factual context. Without this crucial element the information would just get lost in the labyrinth of all other unsorted information. The N.Y.T was upheld as an institution over a business model, capable of purging the USA government of fraudulence, (as the "4th estate") such as in the Watergate scandal. Similarly the N.Y.T published many of "wiki leaks"s articles as homage to its role as a government watchdog.
The movie highlighted many of the topics covered by the course, such as the 4th estate, technological revisions to the news cycle, and what that might imply for the future. Personally i believe if media is to regard itself as a check against abuse of power, then it must also level that scrutiny at itself, to prevent itself from being just another dominant political hegemony. (read my Annotated Bibliography about abuses of public interest regarding the zombie threat)