Monday, February 13, 2006

Paradigm Shift

From EU Referendum: Consigned to the margins
Crucially, with alternative media being used, the authorities and the MSM were completely unaware of what was going down, with the information being transmitted so quickly that, as Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen later admitted, it was "picked up and acted upon before we have a chance to correct it."

Nor is this by any means the first time that these alternative conduits have been used. E-mails, blogs and text messages were central to the campaign to boycott of Danish goods in Arab countries and a "Buy Danish" campaign in the United States. Text messages were used to organize anti-Danish protests in Brussels, while Canada's largest Muslim umbrella group sent e-mails to 300,000 members urging them to avoid such demonstrations. Text messages and blogs were also used to organize protests during violent unrest in Paris last autumn.
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Firstly, for people whose job it is to take the temperature of the nation, such as Members of Parliament, the fragmentation of communication systems means that it is no longer possible – if it ever was – to guage the "issues of the day" by reading the newspapers, and monitoring the broadcast bulletins. And, in as much as it was possible to for the newspapers and the Today programme to set the agenda, that is no longer the case.
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Not least, it makes a mockery of the heart-searching of the MSM over whether to publish the Mohammed cartoons. For months now, they have been freely available on the internet. Freedom of speech is alive and well, but the chattering classes simply haven't noticed.