Media ironies

Media ironies
: Ted Turner complains that too few companies own too much of U.S. media.

But, Ted, you sold your media company to a media company; you singlehandedly reduced the number of media owners in the U.S. Seller’s regret, I guess.

: Ted also called Rupert Murdoch a “warmonger” because of FoxNews’ support of the war and the Guardian explains: “Mr Murdoch openly backed the war on Iraq but the unquestioning support of his Fox News channel has caused controversy and astounded UK broadcasters, which are bound by law to maintain impartial and balanced news services.”

Bound by law? Now that’s a hard law to enforce.

And if it were enforced, would the BBC stay out of the pokey for its opposite view of the war?

: Well, in its own fog of war, the BBC thinks it’s enforcing that law of balance. BBC General Director Greg Dyke said in a speech reported by the BBC, of course: “If Iraq proved anything, it was that the BBC cannot afford to mix patriotism and journalism. This is happening in the United States and if it continues will undermine the credibility of the US electronic news media.” Ask Andrew Sullivan whether he agrees.

: The problem here is, again, that FoxNews proved to be a gigantic success in the war and nobody in media quite knows what to do with that.

I’ve said before that — thanks to the success of FoxNews, the breadth of viewpoints that cable choice allows, and the open expression that weblogs allow, and the audience’s embrace of all that — we are headed to a new media world in which credibility still counts (of course) but in which opinion and perspective aren’t necessarily the antithesis to credibility that American journalism — and, if we are to believe them, British TV journalism, cough, cough — have long held. We are headed to a world in which news is more compelling and less purposely dull. We are headed to a world in which news matters more.

And, by the way, key to this view is trust in the intelligence of the audience, the people: They can decide what’s fact and what’s opinion and what their own opinions should be.

: Tim Blair says all this more eloquently than I could. Plus, it sounds tougher with his accent.