Whose voices will carry farthest and resonate most in a digital environment? Whom will they be addressing, and what will be the social and political effect? We struggle to answer such questions in the present let alone the future, of course, and James Fallows of The Atlantic once wrote that the only iron law of media bias was that “each side is absolutely convinced that the other has an unfair advantage in getting its views out”. But some observations are worth making.
Traditional news media’s institutional power is waning. Barriers to entry are lower. Competitors are more numerous, consumers more discriminating. Margaret Simons at University of Melbourne’s Centre for Advanced Journalism argues the definitions both of “media organisation” and “journalism” are shifting. “Every organisation in this new world is a ‘media organization’,” she observes. “They all have websites. They all have social media presences. That will continue. The skills involved in running these are journalistic skills.