A revelation on independent content

  • A revelation on independent content on the ‘net (?).
    While surfing about, I found this interview with G. Beato on Kottke.org. Beato is a veteran of the dead but beloved Suck, and currently authors Cooking with Bigfoot, an online, animated cooking show featuring “an aggressively bisexual, substance-abusing Sasquatch”. While discussing the decision of whether to go with an ad-sponsored model for his comic, Beato laid out this revelation:

    “While there has been a lot of debate about whether web content should be free or paid or sponsored by advertising, I think an important point has largely been overlooked — and that is that an environment where the majority of content is free or sponsored by advertisers ultimately favors corporate-created content…. So the ultimate irony is this: while the Web has huge potential to distribute off-beat, unconventional, non-common-denominator media that traditional corporate media channels will never touch (i.e., the kind of content often favored by people who believe that web content should be free and corporate media sucks), it won’t really be effective at doing that unless viewers/readers/users support that content in a direct financial way. “

    I use word “revelation” only semi-sarcastically. I do find it amazing that people question the seemingly obvious fact that advertiser supported content — from the evening news to Casey Casem’s Top 40 to Slate.com — must be advertiser-friendly, which is most likely content created by organizations most likely to themselves also be advertisers. But once you pry away the ideological facade of journalistic objectivity and artistic freedom espoused but unfulfilled by the corporate media and look at the facts, this revelation is hard to dispute.

    And so, Beato is correct. If there is going to be an independent web (or any independent media for that matter) it will need to be funded by people who support that enterprise, otherwise it will have to be corporate and it will cease to be independent. Community radio stations have known this for over 50 years, which is why listeners must endure semiannual fund drives, and why these stations overwhelmingly rely on volunteers, too. It’s time for more of the Internet generation to wake up to this realization, too.

    Previously on der mediageek:

  • The Web Is Still a Volunteer Medium; Web Independents Suck and Feed on Ice 6/8/01

  • Posted





    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *