“The new model of media seems to include some big institutions, mostly devoted to fluff and with not much incentive to do real in-depth investigations, and some bloggers, who may have plenty of skepticism but don’t really do gumshoe work or deep analysis of documents. There seems to be a big gap left.”
Open America fills that gap.
I sense strong demand for transparency and explanation of how government really works that is not conspiratorial or naive. This demand is especially among the young, who are the most capable of mastering the amazing tools that we now have to investigate and tell stories on the Web.
Where the money comes from is clear. The creative destruction of capitalism has undermined or destroyed the business models of the old media. At the same time, it is creating new power centers in government, new business models for timely reporting on government, and new urgency among the public for action.
That’s what Open America is all about: a new model to support timely and urgent reporting on government.
2 thoughts on “Open America fills a gap”
“I sense strong demand for transparency and explanation of how government really works that is not conspiratorial or naive.”
Any attempt to explain the 1960s assassinations, Chappaquiddick, the Garrison prosecution of Shaw, Watergate, or the Iran-Contra scandal that ignores clears signs of conspiracy IS naive.
Furthermore, any attempt to explain government today that ignores (a) lobbyist money, (b) popular distrust of government, (c) media co-option, (d) inherent bureaucratic behavior, (e) the un-trustworthiness of governmental power not subject to review, or (f) the ways in which public officials become vulnerable to blackmail is doomed to failure.
I welcome any news outlet whose only agenda is uncovering the facts and presenting the facts fairly.
There is absolutely a gap, and I’m glad you are trying to fill it.
Look at the response from the media to the leak by Snowden about the NSA. If the media was proactive at all about these sorts of things, it would have known about the “vacuum” program for years, it’s not like this is a big shock. The NSA is building a whole new facility out west to house the computing power to sift through all the data they are collecting (there’s a great article on wired about it). The vacuum program and other revelations have been exposed by James Bamford and others a long time ago.
Also, the media is focused almost solely on the “crime” that Snowden committed and not concerned at all about the criminality that he has revealed on the part of the government. It’s the same of course with Bradley Manning and other whistleblowers.
There’s also this “why should we worry, we aren’t criminals” bent to the response. The problem is that the government can use the data later to crush dissent. Almost everyone has a skeleton in their closet. The government can go back years with this data and shut you up if you are saying something they don’t like. Just wait, they will be going after the people responsible for the Snowden revelations. People like Greenwald are going to get audited and discredited, etc.
This does go back to the JFK assassination. It raises the “he thought he was president” issue. Does the president really have the power to control the national security state anymore, even if he wants to? I personally don’t think so.