I’ve painfully pushed my way through “Cult of the Amateur”, despite its huge flaws. As mentioned last time, the author constantly follows the “broken window fallacy” in all his economic arguments so far.

A couple of sections cover the issues of accountability in the press and the undermining of advertising. Keen offers up examples of where mainstream media have been caught out, including outright lies, poorly researched stories etc. He offers these up as examples of the higher quality of the infrastructure because of the sanctions then applied. However, the very fact that these failings exist in the mainstream media rather undermine his case, particularly as there’s no way of knowing how many flawed articles aren’t spotted. He also excoriates the self reinforcing groups “talking only to themselves”. These groups are no worse than the existing examples of biased media, for example “Fox News”. One of the differences between mainstream media and the new online media is that new media does not generally make the same claim to lack of bias, or claim to “authority” made by existing media. (more…)