The goal of an “informed citizenry” led the first communications revolution by John’s depictions, followed by the informational environment that eventually formed foundation for the US information infrastructure. The premise of our fifth estate grew out of the goal to inform the masses and critique government (and business) but just as political and economic interests helped other parts of our infrastructure evolve, we’ve now let those interests overtake our media systems that no longer deliver on this goal.
An informed citizenry of a questioned government / business / society is less and less present in the US – about national and regional issues. Most vivid are the “spin” of last couple decades, polarization of media fostered by corporate ownership, and now complete and accepted secrecy/propaganda from the Bush Admin. But more subtle is the insight from Cowie’s industrial production, or say the book Fast Food Nation, where people aren’t informed about real sources of changes and issues in their local area.
As we keep looking to the media to correct this issue itself – which isn’t happening fast enough if at all – to offset the lack of critical thinking prevalent in America – should we be turning to a solution that is more about infrastructure or working through another “market force,” and less about doing the right thing? I’m not advocating regulation but wondering, are there forces at work or available that can help correct this situation?