Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Huffs and Puffs: New Media's Judgement Day

The feeling at the news of Huffington Post being sold to AOL is - sadness.

I have subscribed to Huffington Post for last couple of years. Every day, reading the daily update was my touching base with my left-liberal self. But, there was more: This was my commitment to the alternate news.

In a way, I don't trust big media for all its worth. After Al Jazeera, it is plain to see what they are up to. For example, the BBC and the CNN completely omitted the news of the protests in Kuwait, which was in a way the first among the Arab democratic movements, may be just slightly ahead of its time. My daily media consumption is Huffington Post and Al Jazeera, the left wing editorials coupled with irreverent reporting.

So, the sale of Huffington Post to AOL, which is only slightly better than its sale to Rupert Murdoch, feels like one relationship severed. There is no reason to feel that way, indeed: The Press Release says that it will remain business as usual, with full editorial independence for Ms Huffington. One thing is plain though: That Liberalism is now a big company plaything. It is a portfolio item, not a freestanding principle on its own. The hegemony of big media is near complete.

What happens to new media, and the citizens' journalism, all those kind of things. Huffington Post was anyway an old/new crossover, at awe with big names and particularly with old Clintonians, but still outside the big media ring-fence. After this sale, they have sort of gone over to the dark side and space for a new liberal voice has now opened up yet again.

It is always like this - the baton gets passed on and the story continues.

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