Flash media

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Flash media is the term employed by Glenn Harlan Reynolds to describe "media coverage that appears very rapidly, is largely self-organized, and that responds very quickly to events ... in the sense," he writes, "of flash mobs." [1]

For example, Reynolds, writes, "We've seen a lot of this sort of thing in recent years and [the recent] terrorist attacks in Madrid provided another example. Big media accounts led the coverage, but soon bloggers and others were filling in the gaps." [2]

"But," Reynolds continues, "while providing multiple viewpoints and firsthand reporting on stories that Big Media are covering to death is useful, what's more interesting is the way in which the Internet allows people to cover things that Big Media aren't covering. For example, there were big outpourings of sympathy in the United States, with a demonstration showing support at the Spanish Embassy in Washington, D.C., and others at Spanish consulates around the nation. These got almost no major-media coverage." [3]

"Others put up photos from the sympathy demonstration at the Spanish Consulate in San Francisco. In response to a widely-blogged suggestion, lots of people sent flowers, too. [4]

"It's not a big story, but it's an interesting example of how an event can be well and widely covered despite the near-total absence of Big Media coverage. (And, given the tendency of Big Media organizations' coverage to disappear into pay-content archives, or simply to vanish, it's coverage that's likely to have a longer shelf life than Big Media coverage would have.)" [5]

Although Reynolds doesn't "think that weblogs and flash media will replace Big Media any time soon, [he keeps] seeing evidence that they're doing a better and better job of supplementing, and challenging, Big Media coverage. ... The more people there are with these sorts of things ["web video and cheap digital cameras"], the more of a role for flash media in covering news." [6]

However, Reynolds says that he keeps waiting for "a neat and useful system for aggregating all of this content. ... Gadgets like Technorati and Daypop and Feedster do a decent job," he says, "but there's definitely room for something more sophisticated. A Google News for the blogosphere? Something like that." [7]

The SourceWatch should be added to Reynolds' list of flash media.

SourceWatch Resources

External links

  • Glenn Harlan Reynolds, "Flash Media", TechCentralStation, March 17, 2004.