07 June 2013

New Media and Freeing Expression

What can we characterize as trust in new media, does it matter in the way it matters in old media. Now, media itself is something one may tend to trust and have that basis of time and again, to trust. One has criteria to know to what extent that basis remains constant and filters events, which may themselves be highly filtered anyway.

But new media has this sense, it is so immediate, that those filters are disengaged. It is so granular that one might expect any disinformation, to be re-patterned away, or it is filtered from top down to remove what may be seen as noise. In a sense one does not need to trust new media, as its best. What I mean ideally one can make up one's own mind, or at least surf on all that information. One can simply reference the raw data coming at you, with established media, indeed.

Thus old media has a crucial role as long as at least part of it, is part of new media as well (that is there is a something to reference). Now this raises the question, can new media take over that role, without impinging on the experience of rawness and the possibility of people to come to their own conclusions, which is surely the very foundation of a free press. That is can we get something really new, or even can we maintain new + old media.

New media is to a reasonable extent the people, for now, it is people getting the news as it happens, as it grows from point zero, taking on new interpretations and vistas as it does. One needs to grow with it, but that means one needs to get that growth unimpeded, or at least very lightly filtered. I think that growth itself is important, as that is potentially where the most information can be for a while (i.e. the 'noise' is needed).

I might say that there is something inherent to that which old media does, that is part of this growth. But partly what is new, what makes it new media, is that people are there from point zero. A thrilling experience, running the gamut of emotion, like watching something on TV, except it references real world events ? But to me there is something more, that extraordinary process as ripples make waves around you, in the world of the Internet.

It is important that many voices can add to this process, but it is the process itself that is of interest to me. What is it about growth, does it mean anything. I think it means something for people to be in on it. That is what I mean by growth, which does that process result in. It is a great question, what did that sharing of information and opportunity at the beginning of the US do to it. Putting people in, because of words written on a document.

Growth here is opportunity, because being so close to the development of the news, does not have risks, one assumes. But whether that opportunity becomes anything, is the same question it always is. That come back back to trust. Leaps into the connected unknown, because the connectivity does not necessarily enhance the accuracy of the information, and assuming accuracy is required for effective opportunity (one could say that it may be, over time and for sustainability, but not necessarily).

This opportunity may happen if the connectivity enhanced the accuracy of the other media, or created a more complex way to express the development of information, either short terms events, or longer term issues.

But is there something in that space between trust and simply doing. If one considers fast moving conditions in new media (which is where this comparison is coming from), one can consider that perhaps there is no information really at all, except for the experience of it, or one can possibly consider that again the individual's brain responds.

There is nothing one can do about or with the news event, it happened somewhere else. The consequence of responding in new media is getting a sense of being more immediate with news events, what I would take from it, is that sense of a story growing and being with it. But not necessarily really growing, just a collection of responses, expanding and inputs into it.

Can we see anything that guides responses, something for them to fit into. The only thing one might say is that the process of growth of a story may reveal something in its granularity such that there may be something otherwise not to be seen. That is the core of a free press though, that greater precision potentially on what actually happened, widely disseminated.

But here those myriad responses matter, and that to me is an argument for finely grained new media news: the flow of expression through news, that is news shapes expression, but to how much of an extent (but not so much the other way around). Is that something new for media.

New Media brings the first amendment to life in this way: one trusts that one can express oneself, therefore one brings the flow (i.e. another part of that amendment is crucial here, but as noted each relevant part can work together, now).

The question is more and more, how valid is that trust and what are the consequences for new media if it is not the case, these are not really privacy issues, as the idea here is dissemination, they are issues of freedom.

Freedom of expression, in the sense of what it may do, is nothing except possibility. But enduring possibility seems to produce the most astonishing creations, there is a point to it. And new media may create a realization of possibility, or at least seem to.

Whether that 'seem to' is or is not or a drive in your (future) direction, is another matter. One could ask what happened to all that freedom of expression, and importantly feeling free to express oneself in the early days, but hopefully not about new media, yet. It is like another chance.

I might say more optimistically, that all that granular freedom, on the technology of printing presses and possibility did not disappear (it couldn't), it just became more formalized, yet that rawness tends to be where it is at, without necessarily implying that the content itself is raw.

That we can see as an advance, technology genuinely has given further possibilities for expression and its generation over pieces of paper and print, this time around. So freedom and and its expression liberty evolves in some sense, on this optimistic note.