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    July 23, 2008

    MSM, not so mainstream anymore?

    Posted by: Andoni

    Markos Today's New York Times reports that Markos Moulitsas of the the Daily Kos wants to change the term "mainstream media" (MSM) - a term bloggers started, to "traditional media." Now that a majority of people get their news via the Internet instead of newspapers and broadcasts, he believes the lingo should reflect that reality.

    Continuing with the term "mainstream media" implies that the Internet is fringe, when it is not.

    Some bloggers think that "corporate media" would be a more appropriate term for MSM. I'll let the discussion begin on the blogoshpere for new lingo, but for the moment and until a consensus is reached, I'll try to stop using MSM and will alternate between "traditional media" (TM) and "corporate media" (CM) to see which one feels better or which one sticks.

    I'm with Markos that MSM is no longer an appropriate term.



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    1. Lucrece on Jul 23, 2008 12:31:23 PM:

      Yeah, give them less than appealing connotations. Perhaps the punishment will get them to shape up and start doing some actual news for a change.

    1. Snark on Jul 23, 2008 1:13:00 PM:

      'Mainstream' and 'traditional' are pretty much synonymous in most instances. I think people know that MSM refers to traditional media (television in particular), so changing it to something Markos wants feels more like the language cops tooting their think-whistles than anything legitimate. The last thing I need is DailyKos or the 'Netroots Nation' telling me what words to use. I'll stick with MSM and assume I'm informed enough to know what it means, and if others are not, they should get their heads out of their blogs for a few days.

    1. L. Wieseltier on Jul 23, 2008 1:15:19 PM:

      Surely, Markos isn't suggesting that his site with all it's nitwits, Truther's, morons, etc., is now a member of the MSM???

    1. Robert on Jul 23, 2008 6:22:47 PM:

      I've always gotten a chuckle out of the use by bloggers of MSM when refering to old media. In the HIV R&D community it is used to signify "men who sex with men".

    1. Randy on Jul 23, 2008 6:36:45 PM:

      More and more people are looking at the old guard as traditional media. I attended Netroots Nation 08 (formerly Yearly Kos) and found that there actually is a lot of new media happening within traditional media. In many of the major newspaper websites you will find blogs by staff members which doesn't follow the standard reporting practices. Phillip Martin of Burnt Orange Report has started a series on Shattering Blogger Stereotypes. In one of the pieces he talks about new media in Texas newspapers. It highlights many of the differences and changes.

    1. Matt Comer on Jul 25, 2008 8:35:54 AM:

      Aren't some blogs and less than "mainstream" media outlets (LGBT publications, for instance) also "corporate," as well?

      I've always used "mainstream" and "traditional" interchangeably.

      But I agree with Snark. Language changes almost on its own. People can't do it unless there is a coordinated, years-long effort to do so (example: LGBT organizations' years-long and on-going work with media organizations and their style books).

    1. Hawyer on Jul 25, 2008 11:53:50 AM:

      "Corporate Media" (CM) is the more accurate descriptor - implying the ratings-based for-profit dissemination of news as entertainment AND Importantly - opinion-based information skewed to the bottom line of its corporate ownership.

      "Traditional Media" would imply just that - the media most of us grew up with - when network news departments were not purely ratings-based - and there was some semblance of journalism, fact-checking, and objectivity.

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