We're still trying to figure out that second step though.
Yet in spite of everything the Modern American Mediascape lacks right now, and the endless democratic potential a mass medium like the internet presents, I can't help but be increasingly alarmed by the precipitous decline in advertising and subscription revenues being felt across the board by the traditional media and the resulting staffing cuts and business failures. I'm not just saying this because my already meager paycheck is threatened, either.
One of the criticisms myself and others have levelled since Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz started keeping a blog is that his entries have often seemed little more than press releases about city policy written in the first person. I stopped reading after a couple posts, but when we were chatting about the sweeping layoffs in the media lately at a press conference Friday, Channel 3's Jessica Arp told me to check out Mayor Cieslewicz's most recent entry.
I'll post it here, as the city is not yet archiving the mayor's blog. I do think, though, he makes some very poignant and heartfelt points about the danger this systematic dismantling of the media poses to our society.
I can think of few people in the city of Madison who could have bigger beefs with the media than Mayor Cieslewicz right now, and while I may criticize, I give him all the props in the world for these sentiments. While his job could conceivably be a whole lot easier if the media were to simply vanish into the vacuum, he's big enough to recognize that with it would go democracy as we know it.
And if more people shared the mayor's sentiments on this topic, "fixing" the Modern American Mediascape would be a whole lot easier. Thank you, Mayor Cieslewicz, for finally letting a bit of the man behind the tie shine through.