Over in Medialand it’s business as usual. The Telegraph has a new editor (yawn!), Carlton and Granada are to be allowed to merge (did you hear Allen and Green’s surprisingly plausible double act on the Today programme?). David Liddiment in The Guardian is worried – implausibly – about ignorant Americans with no understanding of public service broadcasting blundering in and irreperably damaging the fragile UK broadcast ecology. I say ‘implausibly’ because he seems to think that European broadcasters might make a better fist of it (Ah, Signor Berlusconi. So nice to see you!). Most people are assuming that the Carltonada duo will be spending more time with their families pretty soon.
The prize for the most conspicuous waste of money has to go to the The Tories who spent a hundred grand on a Media Makeover for their increasingly hapless leader. Wouldn’t it be ironic if IDS lost his job before Tony Blair?
Meanwhile, though, the geeks and indie media guerillas are plotting the end of the old-fashioned top-down media as we know it – it’s just that they’re doing it in such a diffident, cerebral way that the old-fashioned top-down media might never notice. Doing the rounds in London this week are kooky Douglas Rushkoff (who wants to overthrow old-fashioned top-down religion while he’s at it) and less kooky Cameron “Blogdex” Marlow. At a ‘brown bag’ seminar (“what? No shrimps on sticks?”) at The Work Foundation‘s gorgeous Carlton House Terrace hang-out last week, top blogger Tom Coates, Marlow and a handful of others quietly and in the sort of complicated, hedged and precise language that only techies and scientists use, laid out a kind of partial, modest first draft manifesto for a democratic, open and… er… bottom-up post-weblog media (only they wouldn’t have been so pretentious as to have called it that).
It was really quite exciting but you’d have to have been listening very carefully to get it. James “The Chairman” Crabtree wrote it up in detail.