However, as the web gave everyone a voice, and small interest individuals found one another and formed communities, something interesting happened. We started listening and discussing. WE recreated and rediscovered the middle road.
My opinion is no longer formed by FOX, CNN, or MSNBC. My opinion is informed by multiple data sources, including the news media. In this new world, anyone, be they Bill Maher or Rush Limbaugh, Jon Stewart or Glenn Beck, that does not provide a platform for the serious exchange of ideas is no longer an opinion leader, they are a shouting head. And frankly, I don't need a shouting head when I can speak with and discover informed opinion online. (And on that note, kudos to Jon Stewart for offering complete unedited versions of his political interviews on his website.)
Take the current debate around an alternative to the current healthcare model in the US. On the one hand, I have a family member living overseas experiencing the downside of socialized healthcare, waiting months for necessary procedures and solutions. On the other hand, my grandmother is having a hard enough time convincing her private insurance company to cover the pills her doctor prefers, and I'm not convinced the government would be any better.
I know what I would hear if I were to turn to the media on right or the left. But I enjoy the discovery and dialogue offered only online. Because even if the discussion is polarized, it is detailed. It is long. It gives me the room I need, as a concerned citizen to read, to view, to comment, engage and then post.
Now what does this mean for the traditionally aligned media platforms? I'm not sure I was ever really in their base to begin with :? )