In his book Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life And Beyond, academic Axel Bruns talks about the concept of folksonomics, wherein traditional hierarchies of knowledge have been flattened by the empowerment of the online community. The rise of social media (including blogs such as this one) and the drive towards interactive news environments, in particular, has meant that journalists have lost their once-coveted status as both the gatekeepers and disseminators of information.
This is not entirely a bad thing, but the drowning out of expertise in favour of the hum of audience chatter has its limitations. As the ABC has just discovered, after sending a citizen journalist (actually, a staff audio engineer) to write a live review of one of the most revered songwriters of her generation. PJ Harvey is not a woman to be trifled with, and nor are her fans. In the interests of full disclosure, I’m happy to add that I am one.
Ian Church’s piece for the website of Perth’s local ABC radio 720 is now flagged (after a couple of hasty edits), as an “audience review”. He paid his own way to get in, so at least we as ABC consumers didn’t pay to be edified by the following bon mots:
“I, like many of other males have been introduced to PJ Harvey by my partner.… Read more..