The existential crisis of traditional media

The radical democratization of information through the Internet and social media has led to the demise of traditional media’s role as the premier social watch. The dispute between the plebs and the media is part of the syndrome of this ongoing Copernican revolution being spurred by the following interrogations, among others:

1. Who is the big, traditional media? Whose interests does it advance? (Individual, corporate, ideological, etc.) On whose expense?

2. If the media is composed of fallible human beings like everyone else, why must we put them on a pedestal?

3. Is press freedom, therefore, a right or privilege? If it is a right, why must it be granted to a selected few? By the mere virtue of their journalism diploma? Why is free speech not enough? If it’s a privilege, is it rightfully deserved?

Maria Ressa’s mental (and skin) breakdown is a symptom of a progressing existential crisis among the progeny of traditional media as they try to cling on to their eroding power. All of a sudden, their raison d’être is in question. They must be on 24-hour watch to be honest.

On the other hand, those who view traditional media as a vessel of power and, therefore, a tyrant in its own right have good reasons to celebrate. A corrupted spokesperson is unnecessary when, finally, you have a megaphone that can be heard throughout the world.





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