More MWF blogging: Who are the gatekeepers. My first session last night was about blogging, under the title “Who are the Gatekeepers” with Margaret Simons and Antony Loewenstein… The topic led me to think about the gatekeeping function of the mass media (this is cultstud jargon for deciding what’s important and who’s authoritative). My assessment, based on recent experience was fairly negative. I see three ways in which the old media gatekeepers have failed, and in which bloggers have been effective critics. — John Quiggan

It’s clear who we should trust. Ultimately, in much of the non-Western world, the blogosphere is the only source of reliable information, as state run media is guaranteed to be shameless propaganda. — Antony Lowenstein

Who are the gatekeepers (2). Margaret Simons, John Quiggin and Antony Loewenstein celebrated new media in ‘Where Are the Gatekeepers’… Another strong argument of theirs was that while there may be a proliferation of ‘crap’ online, it is an elitist argument that ‘youth’ are being dumbed-down by this culture. Because everyday life has ‘crap’ and it’s just that it is visible and in-your-face online. Those that have grown up in this environement, they argue, are easily able to filter out the crap and bookmark what they enjoy, helped often by social-networking friends with similar interests, or via blogrolls. — LiteraryMinded

Muting a generation. Regular LP readers might recall that I’ve been emphasising for some time now research evidence which suggests that the “apathetic youth” narrative is nonsense. Just because no one’s marching in the street, doesn’t mean that nothing’s happening. Further evidence for that case comes from a literature review prepared for the Whitlam Institute by Philippa Colin, who finds that engagement is migrating online, and that it’s much more likely to be issues or cause based than the “citizen oriented repertoires” of involvement in political parties. The review also suggests significant disengagement with the formal practices of citizenship coincides with idealism and engagement around issues and networks. — Larvatus Prodeo