Is Democratic Media A Possilibity?

MARCH 10, 2014

Is Democratic Media A Possilibity?

Conventional methods of media have been providing content for the masses since the appearance of the printing press and movable type, or even before. So far, the provided content is based on the trends of the average population, the consumption of the masses. Consider other media channels, who select their content the same way: radio, TV, newspapers.

Without even knowing it, the average consumer -watcher, reader or listener- is selecting what will be offered in the future. This content, while desirable for a majority of the viewers, has not been chosen democratically.

New media channels, which I consider one step forward, are channels that offer a new democracy, a new way to choose what to consume, letting the user specify and customize what they get. Spotify, Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, RSS readers, etc. They all are existing mediums that allow the user to choose individually -over a wide catalogue- what they consume.

Now, the problem is what is being offered. In a world amidst wide-spread mass-media, these channels encourage the world toward a global culture, everyone likes the same, watches the same and thinks the same, no matter where they come from. We are moving towards a monoculture.

Interestingly enough, the top rankings from Russia, Sweden and the US have the same songs among their top hits on Spotify very often. Likewise, one of the most viewed series in the US –such as Breaking Bad– is being watched in Australia with the same excitement as in the US and Europe.

Another Kind Of Media Democracy

How can a group decide what to watch or listen to when they are together? Is the TV meant to be on the whole time in the living room? Even though it seems less social, when each person in a room is silently reading the news –or whatever they want– on their cellphone, there is more democracy. Freedom to consume what you want.

What is the next step?