Dave Winer, who’s well known for his work in the technology field, particularly as a pioneer with the RSS and XML-RPC tools that underlay many current web tools, including blogging software, asks an excellent, pertinent question about political conference calls:
I’ve been asking around, where can I get MP3s of all the conference calls, the day they happen, in full, not spun through the reporters, and so far have come up with nothing. So I’m bringing this issue to as many people as I can think of who might either know how I can get them, or apply pressure to one or more news organizations to make them public.
Conference calls are one small aspect of the process. But Dave’s desire to have access to the raw facts in the absence of spin and interpretation is one that I think deserves attention. The technology exists such that the media layer is no longer necessary in the distribution of news. The MSM is still a useful filtering device. But it gets less important every day as independent voices gain respect and weight.
Envision a clearing house in which politicians’ statements are aggregated into a distributed master index that becomes the public record. There’s no reason why this shouldn’t happen in the next few years.
Hillary explained, in an email response, that she gets a lot of email and can’t respond to each one individually. Then she listed all the ways I could help her campaign, including giving her money. That’s a pretty incompetent way to respond to a press inquiry.
One professional reporter explained that they don’t publish press releases so why should they make the MP3s of the conference calls available. Oy. They clearly don’t understand that as voters we might have an interest in unfiltered access to the actual words of the campaign. It never occurs to them, apparently, that not every voter sees their spin as a total value-add.
Four years from now we’ll look back at this in amazement that there was a day when campaigns hid their words and ideas behind the filters of the press.
That’s totally correct, or it should be. Part of the hold up on this relatively simply technology issue is that the MSM does understand that many people see their obfuscation layer for what it is. Denying access to the raw source helps preserve their empire. Temporarily.