Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Saturday, October 16, 2004

The Individual Is The News Authority

Patrick Spain, founder of HighBeam Research an online research service for individuals, and co-founder/former chairman/CEO of Hoover's (online provider of company information), has some really great statements cropping in a larger post he recently made on the ContextNext guest series, hosted by Rafat Ali on

Mr. Spain points to a deep societal shift that is of enormous relevance to those who, especially in big media, need to understand where we are headed when seeking information authority online.

Experts and media authority are being completely redefined, and the credibility once given without question to government, doctors and banks is now being gradually redistributed to independents researchers, to small news organizations, to pro reporters that work outside of mainstream media and of large private interests.



It is in this direction that I seek to further facilitate the task of the new rising individual independent publisher, as so correctly Patrick Spain defines him, as sHe is the truly unstoppable emerging force of this new media revolution.

SHe is the one who can re-architect our too long unquestioned assumptions of where answers should be found.

It is the independent researcher, journalist, reporter, what today is called a "blogger" that is the expert of the immediate future, the one that can be trusted more than a long-time newspaper columnist or of the most established academic journal.

And it is only in dependence of how much we can make these independent bloggers sustainable and more capable that the promised tipping point for the many independent publishers slowly biting away mainstream media audiences can become a dominant pattern.

It is in exploring with a sincere sense of questioning, of wanting to research to find out what this indefinable, multifaceted thing we insist on calling truth really is, free of large media pressures, interests, fake smiles, this truly encompassing and self-organizing process can bloom into a new media publishing renaissance like we can hardly imagine now.

Yes, and it is in the hand of the individual to bring this all about.

Big media has played all of its cards and it is only holding tight to its piled-up reserves.

Read these few lines below and ask yourself right after: "How does this affect the news market and in which ways are the news going to be created in such a revolutionized bottom-up approach?"

"Underlying this fact is a more fundamental societal shift over the past several decades in our attitudes toward and dependence upon experts for important matters.

This started with health, our most important asset.

In 1960, if the doctor told you that you had six months to live, you went home and died in six months.

Increasingly we saw this single alternative as unsatisfactory.

So we started getting second opinions.

Then we started doing our own research.

In some instances we started developing our own treatments, as in the movie "Lorenzo's Oil".

This trend moved into other important areas of life -

  • personal finances,

  • education,

  • career selection, and

  • our work lives.

Increasingly, if it is important to you, you want to take control of and responsibility for it."

It's in your hands.

By stretching the too easily given assumption of who is supposed to be our news sources, expert advisors and guides, we can completely reverse the way we eat and consume media.

This won't please the advertisers, but will give a life to those who want to sincerely seek a better future for this planet.

So, it's your choice.

And, thanks Patrick, for this great reflection.

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posted by Robin Good on Saturday, October 16 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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