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The coming age of the partisan press will begin with news for the frustrated 9/5/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Uncategorized.
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America’s century-old experiment with a one-size-fits-all, supposedly non-partisan press is coming to an end now that Internet content has taught news consumers that it has not been so non-partisan after all. We will be returning to the days when news outlets reflected the personal or market-driven worldviews of publishers (e.g. Greeley, Bennett, Pulitzer), and they attracted specific audiences that shared these worldviews. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Thomas Jefferson never envisioned newspapers as objective truth-deliverers, but instead as diverse voices competing in a freewheeling marketplace of ideas. Debate, he thought, was the best way to determine truth and, more importantly, the will of a self-governing people.

Partisanship is now entering and dividing the press in the way that it always has in America — through the cries of the frustrated against the powerful. Colonial papers railed against the British. Thomas Jefferson founded his own paper to rail against Federalists like Alexander Hamilton. Talk radio and Fox News rail against a liberal media. And now on the Internet, the advantage is with the left as sites like DailyKos.com rail against a Republican President, united by a common enemy that is unavailable to the right (see Dean Barnett). Ultimately, emerging partisan outlets move in the direction of the mainstream to build their audiences. But if you want to watch the leading edge of our coming partisan press, follow the anger.

Comments»

1. Chris Muir - 9/5/07

“Thomas Jefferson never envisioned newspapers as objective truth-deliverers, but instead as diverse voices competing in a freewheeling marketplace of ideas. ”

Yes, indeed!

2. Ed Driscoll.com - 9/6/07

Back To The Future

Steve Boriss writes, “The coming age of the partisan press will begin with news for the frustrated”:America�s century-old experiment with a one-size-fits-all, supposedly non-partisan press is coming to an end now that Internet content has taught news…


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