BOOK REVIEW: Internet Killed The Mass Media Star

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The Golden Age of mass culture didn’t end just because the Internet let people do their own thing. It ended because people looked at the low – and steadily declining – quality of mass-marketed television, radio, news, films, and music and concluded that they could do better. And they are often right, not necessarily because the amateur productions are so terrific (though sometimes they are), but because the big media productions are so often dreadful.

Like U.S. car companies in the 1970s, the television networks, movie and record studios, newspapers, and radio stations grew comfortable in their protected positions, and forgot how (or just didn’t bother) to make good products. Now their market shares are declining, as people find substitutes. And while people in the 1970s had to look to Japan or Germany for substitute cars, they have only to look to the Internet for substitute sources of news and entertainment – sources that are often, Keen’s assertions notwithstanding, just as good as their traditional versions.

INQUIRER: Hey! We Heard That!

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