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Vision: Digital Media
November 01, 2004
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EM: Voice and transparency: you've cited these two characteristics as among the most important drivers in the media world of the future - can you expand on that, tying them together?

JJ: The organizing principle of the internet and weblogs -- as well as of media and marketing -- is trust. Trust is about a relationship. And relationships are human.

The problem with big media -- not to mention politics, government, and marketing -- is that they became institutions; they lost sight of their humanity as they tried to raise themselves up on pedestals away from the people. They could not admit to making mistakes. They could not enter into conversations.

Weblogs have shown a new way because they are distinctly human; they have a human voice; they are transparent. And they demand equivalent transparency of media: We want them to unhide their agendas and show their prejudices and process. Many in media resist. When this was the topic at a recent Aspen Institute gataway, some august media people in the room said, Judge us by our product, not our process. I disagreed.

But look at the success of FoxNews on one side of the political ledger and the international spread of The Guardian on the other. Look at the explosion of blogs: The "audience" wants perspective and viewpoint, voice and transparency.

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