Competition improves every market. When the world primarily read in ink, journalists too seldom had their output quality-checked by readers. Print Beyond Paper: Social Media and the Rebirth of Journalism. The editorial page may publish one or two letters from displeased readers, but a wise editor would not want to insert an opinion that directly undercuts the staff writer’s competence; that would destroy subscriptions. The answer? “Manufacture” plausible disagreement.
Social media changed everything. Now there are writers for innumerable websites, with Twitter feeds and Facebook posts to circulate their work with head-spinning speed. A researcher of a given topic is inundated with a cacophony of opinions. This is competition: only the best thoughts survive.
Peter Haapaniemi, in an article in Custom Content Council, writes that “today’s audiences are accustomed to filtering information from a great many sources and taking those sources into account.” Haapaniemi supports the free market of ideas, though he may say it differently. For once, thought undergoes a Darwinian process.
The result? No more sub-standard journalism. Readers can comment at the end of articles now. Dissent receives immediate, unfiltered acknowledgment. It is survival of the shrewdest.
This is a new world, indeed.