Why Blogs?

Traditional media is dead! The well-coiffed pigeon-chested peacocks that attempt to pass as conveyors of news may not know it yet, but it’s true nonetheless.

I was recently sent a bubblevision clip (CNBC), you know that cradle of financial market intellect. After viewing it I concluded that there ought to be a warning, or at the very least a disclaimer: “This sitcom was filmed in front of a drugged audience.”

This sitcom was filmed in front of a drugged audience

This way we’d at least be prepared for the ridiculousness to come.

I’ve finally solved the riddle of why 1 in 10 Americans is on antidepressants. They must come standard with a cable subscription?

I’m just going to go and grab myself a whey shake before continuing. I reckon its better for me than Prozac.

Mark and I tend towards a macro viewpoint, which we use to pinpoint countries and sectors we believe will find prosperity, and subsequently businesses we wish to be involved with in those same sectors and or countries. On a macro level, traditional media is a short.

(NYSE: GCI) Gannett Co

Gannett Co. (NYSE:GCI) The largest newspaper publisher in the US.

This brings me to the rise of non-traditional media, blogs in particular versus their industrial revolution counterparts of print media and Television.

Traditional media

By Traditional media I am referring to publishers of newspapers, magazines, books and television.

As far as I can see the Traditional media don’t report news, they avoid it. They’re brothels of populist fiction. It’s why any person with a brain larger than a peanut understands that they are getting at best a watered down, politically correct version of events when watching the “news.”

Newsrooms are top-heavy, centralized businesses which are built on a factory-based production model. The entire industry is a holdover from the industrial revolution.

Readers and/or viewers are bombarded with “events” but provided with no context in which to determine and analyse the events shown to them. The delivery format is one of emotionally-charged populist sound bites with little or no context provided. Without context it’s difficult for the user to understand the arguments made, and as such credibility is lacking.

This is how the Traditional Media is constantly “astonished, surprised and dismayed” at events unfolding; it’s users are likewise in the dark. How else do we find that the vast populace for example, still believe they will receive a pension, or some kind of government social (in)security? I mean countless hours are spent arguing this topic amongst others. Why? Its futile, like kids fighting over the last ice cream AFTER its already melted onto the footpath in the sunshine.

This takes place while professionals in the blogosphere (who have their own money on the line) detail explicitly these same events, their causes and consequences.

The result with traditional media is a client base that due to confusion, and enhanced by emotion-driven PR storytelling, is easily manipulated and led to believe things that are logically incorrect. As a user unaware of the topics being discussed, there is a huge danger of misinterpreting or simply being confused by the information.

It is a system which stifles independent thinking and confuses its users… Not unlike the military.

Traditional Media which relies heavily on entrenched interests is also burdened with the fear of being sexist, racist, capitalist, socialist, and maybe even communist!

As such, truth cannot be told, as it inevitably impacts revenues (read: political sponsors, and corporate advertisers).

The argument put forth by Traditional Media is that the myriad of websites, blogs and independent editorial outlets that exist on the Web have no proven authority, which brings me to my discussion of blogs.

Blogs

This is open source journalism. The internet rewrites the economics of news.

Blogs typically provide an analytical framework which is accessible to all. Each successive posting builds on the framework and provides context. If as a user you’re unsure of the context and bias of the writer, you can quite easily read through a sample of posts and form an opinion.

Where you are a regular reader of a particular blog you will automatically have context. This is not so even if you continuously watch CNBC day in day out. You still are left with little context. With blogs, what happens is that over time as a blog builds it’s data you find yourself with a large information source which you can analyze to see whether the framework is useful or not. There are more worthless blogs on the web than there are worthwhile ones, but the context can be easily identified. You can then discard what you don’t agree with or care for, and only when a rational, well-thought-out source is found do you pay attention to it.

Blogs promote independent thinking. There exists a feedback mechanism with a blog that is not available in any meaningful fashion with traditional media.

In the blogosphere people talk about what they have knowledge of, in their own respective fields, typically leaving traditional “generalist” journalists in the dust with well-reasoned arguments, backed by facts. Content therefore provides the ultimate authority, as intelligent people see through the BS that has become standard issue in Traditional media.

Blogs are often created by specialists in their respective fields, which allow non-specialists in those fields to educate themselves and critically examine thoughts from parties that have a vested interest in the field in question. Blogs allow professionals to find each other, debate and cross examine ideas. We have been fortunate in this regard and can testify to this from our somewhat limited experience of running this blog.

This is not the case with a reporter whose vested interest is often in earning a wage from his/her publisher or Media Company. Equally as important, the media company will edit out much of the content that a journalist might wish to have published. Talk to any journalist in traditional media and you’ll find this to be one of the biggest gripes they have.

By far the best thing about this revolution in journalism is that the control of information has been decentralized, allowing individual voices to be heard. It is in essence a truer form of democracy, with the market voting for what it wants.

I’m curious to know what our readers favourite blogs or news sources are. Where do you currently source information in the financial sector? What do you find the most credible sources of geo-political events?

- Chris

“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” – Malcolm X