Author Archives: aviolo5

The Final Post: Analysis

After viewing all of the presentations I was most impressed with Natalie’s website focusing on student debt and Nate’s website, apartmentmom.com. These two presentations stood out to me due to the fact that the gap in the market they are trying to fill is quite significant. Both websites proposed a clever combination of donations, advertisements and user-generated content that have the potential of turning them both into extremely popular site’s among their users. 

As for Natalie’s proposal, I believe a start-up emphasizing student debt could not be launched at a more perfect time. The class of 2013 is one of the largest graduating classes in Ithaca College’s history. This scenario is also the norm for universities across the nation. With such an unprecedented level of students graduating there are sure to be a multitude who will be struggling with student debt as they attempt to enter the workforce. Thus, the website that Natalie is proposing will have an expansive niche to target, and Natalie’s own experience dealing with student debt, will provide a personal aspect to the website, enabling it to effectively connect with its users. 

On the other hand, Nate’s start up is equally geared towards success. Moving from living at home to a student dormitory or an apartment is one of the most challenging times in a young adults life. The input provided on Nate’s website has the potential to be extremely useful to the myriad of students heading off to college for their first semester each year. Additionally, the fact that Nate is targeting the students themselves and not their parents is a move of extreme foresight. There are too many blogs to count focused on telling parents what to tell their children as they set off to college. From experience, the first inclination of a young adult is to ignore this advice when it comes from you parents. However, if this advice is coming from a third party and it is directly aimed at the students themselves, it has the potential of having a much greater impact, while simultaneously encouraging the students to utilize the website on their own accord. My only suggestion would be to alter the focus of the website from apartment life to dormitory living, as a students first year is when they are most apt to seek out assistance from a “mom” who can help them make sense of how to effectively coexist in their new surroundings.  

Advertisements

Public Broadcasting

In several developed nations throughout the world, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Japan, public broadcasting is viewed very differently than it is in the United States of America. In the other nations public broadcasting is considered an integral part of the public discourse, helping to unbiasedly inform citizens on pertinent manners; countering the objectives of corporate media. Unfortunately, within the American Republic, public television and public radio lack funding and are pinned down by their revenue structures. These circumstances force these public networks to focus on programming that does little to inform citizens regarding divisive issues and ensure their programming does not offend any political powers who could revoke funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

In the United Kingdom, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) relies on individual television license excises to fund its programing. These levies equal nearly $300 a year per household throughout Britain. No paltry sum, but one that allows the BBC to produce numerous quality programs, while remaining independent from owners and bureaucrats with their own political agendas. Despite the annual cost of maintaining public television for persons throughout the British Isles, it is readily apparent that British subjects utilize their well-financed public television services; BBC draws around 44% of the television audience.   

In an article for the progressive website, TomPaine.com, the late American writer and social activist Jerold M. Starr, delves into the origins of public broadcasting within the United States and how its 30 plus year development has run contrary to its intended goals. 

In the mid-1960s the Carnegie Commission on Educational Television envisioned public broadcasting as a network free of commercial interests and one that could serve as a forum for debate on controversial issues to ensure all segments of American society could be heard, harnessing the true power of the nation’s diversity.  

However, as of 2012 American public television still relies on the Federal government and private donors to stay operational. With no excise tax to provide a stable revenue stream, public broadcasters within the Republic are forced to pander to the groups responsible for funding them; avoiding controversial stories and the mission originally envisioned for public communication by the Carnegie Commission. 

The head of this commission, Dr. James R. Killian Jr. of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, saw the writing on the wall regarding the trappings of a revenue system dependent on Congress and the goodwill of public citizens. “A free, innovative, creative public television service ‘would not be possible if it were to be’ “ultimately dependent” on Congress for its funding,’ said Killian Jr.

If one tracks the development of public broadcasting, notwithstanding the creative past programing of KQED-TV San Francisco and WNET New York City, it is apparent that Killian Jr.’s predictions have come true. American public television is no longer innovative and it certainly is not ideologically independent. The risk of losing the substantive funding flowing from the Federal government is simply too great for the public radio and television stations of our nations to strive for hard-hitting independent news stories. A point proven by Federal attempts to completely wipeout funds for the CPB, during the Nixon administration and Gingrich’s effort as Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1994, when public television had gathered the courage to hold elected officials accountable for their behavior.       

In his article Starr proclaims, “American public broadcasting is spiritually dead. It desperately needs to be reborn as an independently funded public trust.” And I am forced to agree. As long as public broadcasting is not independently funded public television and radio outlets across the country will be unable to pursue news stories to their full potential and most importantly hold elected representatives of the people responsible to the people who elected them.

The potential of an independently funded public broadcasting system is impressive. With the specter of Congressional funding removed from the head of public television, programs in this mold, where the head of the British government fields questions from British subjects regarding the imminent Second Persian Gulf War with a BBC moderator, could appear on public television station in states across the Union.  

Net Neutrality

Network Neutrality is the concept of preventing Internet Service Providers from restricting the publics’ access to the Internet. Corporate ISPs can restrict their consumers’ access online by slowing down the speed of the internet itself, making the process of accessing the content frustrating and impractical, or straight up blocking the content, preventing the dissemination of any content whatsoever that runs contrary to messages the interests of a particular corporation wish to be spread among the masses.  

The notion of unfettered access to consume and produce content on the internet has proved critical in the rise of private independent media outlets and individual bloggers as the 21st century has progressed. The ability to spread content, cheaply and easily, is available only on the Web and has added an innumerable number of valuable opinions to the public discourse. 

Unfortunately, Net Neutrality within the United States, the ideal which gave birth to the recent boom experienced by bloggers and independent journalists, is in grave danger. Superficially, the ability of content producers and content consumers to freely access the internet is imperiled by the glaring weaknesses of the Republic’s broadband infrastructure, one that is currently drastically under-regulated.  

An article appearing on dailyfinance.com addresses the nation’s inferiority in this area of the digital world. The author, Sam Gustin, is unyielding in his criticism of the current situation, “The U.S. broadband infrastructure–both in terms of speed and coverage–is pathetic and embarrassing.” 

In order to back up his remarks, Gustin notes, the United States has the 28th most efficient broadband system among developed countries; placing the Republic beyond much smaller nations that include the Kingdom of Sweden and the Netherlands.

The real issue here is not that the Swedes and Dutch have managed to streamline their Internet service to provide their citizens with more efficient broadband capabilities. More importantly, the decrepit nature of American broadband services is a reflection on how elected officials and private sector executives within the Republic are more than happy to ensure the Internet is not used to its full potential, spreading huge swaths of information among the populace, by the nation’s citizens.

However, if steps are taken to modernize broadband services throughout the States, independent media creators would have even easier access to the ultra-powerful medium of the Internet. Subsequently, the ease at which independent content is consumed would increase; further adding to the national discourse, spreading information and advancing the overall public interest of our society.        

 

Unfortunately, there is no shortage of even more direct threats to net neutrality. The Christian Coalition of America, a conservative grassroots organization for Christians and others supporting familial values, pointed out several overt attempts by ISPs to infringe upon net neutrality; in a written statement by the non-profit’s Vice President of Communications, Michelle Combs, to the Congressional Committee on the Judiciary, Task Force on Competition policy and Antitrust Laws in March of 2008. 

In her address to Congress, Combs highlighted three different incidents involving prominent phone and cable companies, which should concern American citizens and stir the Federal Communications Commission to pay closer attention to several ISPs. 

These incidents included the censoring of text messages to organization members from the pro-choice advocacy group, NARAL, in addition to those of the pro-life Christian Coalition by Verizon Wireless. Additionally, AT&T’s efforts to block the First Amendment rights of Pearl Jam frontman, Eddie Vedder, during a live webcast of a concert, Comcast’s blocking the use of specific file-sharing technology, often used to download a King James Bible, in 2007, and Comcast’s repeated blocking of video distribution applications that compete with the programming of the unscrupulous company in question. 

 

It is clear that many of the Internet Service Providers responsible for providing internet access to a myriad of American citizens have no qualms about infringing upon Net Neutrality, especially when the content in question competes with or is simply not advantageous for the corporation’s bottom line. Further compounding the existing problems regarding the defense of Net Neutrality, is the regulatory agency which should be standing in the way of the media corporations and the current Net Neutrality norms in danger. 

In December of 2010 the FCC did an excellent job of providing rules enabling themselves to protect free speech by prohibiting the prioritization of content on wired Internet services; these include internet pathways involving cable and DSL connections. Confusingly, the progressive efforts of the FCC to ensure the independence of wired based internet communication was contradicted in their handling of broadband or wireless online services. Here the FCC left substantial leeway for corporations to block certain applications and services that compete with those offered by the company providing the Internet.

According to the ACLU, the American Civil Liberties Union, this does not bode well for digital free speech and is a fundamental flaw in regulations that should ensure neutrality protections on both wired and wireless Internet services; not just one of the two.

The ACLU holds, “Network neutrality principles are essential to protecting the First Amendment rights of Americans who rely on the Internet as a forum of free speech.”

Net Neutrality is as pertinent to protecting the free speech of citizens on digital platforms in the 21st century as freedom of the press was for the uninhibited dissemination of information during the infant stages of the Republic in the late 18th century.

Throughout all of my blog posts I have attempted to hammer home the idea of the Internet as a forum where one and all can consume and spread information. In order to ensure this forum, one where Americans from all walks of life can opine on and observe global happenings and domestic current events, survives the American government needs to step in decisively.

If the FCC would reclassify broadband Internet access as a “telecommunications service,” as opposed to its current designation as an unregulated “information service,” great strides could be taken to ensure the concept of Net Neutrality does not become a defunct mantra at the expense of citizens throughout the Union. 

 

The Media and Gaza

At 19:00 GMT on November 21, 2012, the State of Israel and the militant and quasi-fundamentalist governing body of the Gaza Strip, Hamas, announced a ceasefire. This agreement, brokered by the Arab Republic of Egypt and the United States of America, ended eight days of violence in this volatile corner of the Middle East.

Coined by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) as Operation Pillar of Defense, the latest apparition of violence in the ongoing Gaza-Israel Conflict, involved continuous Israeli air-strikes against targets throughout Gaza City. One of the first air-strikes resulted in the death of Ahmed Jabari, the second-in command of the military wing of Hamas.  Throughout the duration of hostilities there were also numerous rocket attacks by Hamas into southern Isreal from cold war era Soviet GRAD ordinance, homemade Palestinian Qassam mid-range rockets; and Iranian made Fajr-5 long-range missiles. 

The mainstream media within the U.S. offered up around the clock coverage of the escalating violence, providing citizens of the Republic with news that some bloggers described as blatantly one-sided and ubiquitously pro-Israeli in its content.    

Human rights activist and blogger, Omar Baddar, opined on huffingtonpost.com on what he thought were the inexcusable flaws in American mainstream media coverage of the most recent armed conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.  

According to Baddar, the mainstream media proliferated five “lies,” which greatly misconstrued the happenings in Gaza City. According to the blogger, these lies were Israel was forced to respond to rockets to defend Its citizens, Israel tries to avoid civilian casualties, the conflict is about Israeli security, Hamas is the problem and there is a viable military solution to the problem. 

It is important to note that the nature of Baddar’s career makes him a clearly biased source regarding ongoing Arab-Israeli confrontations. However, throughout his blog he does not hide his personal feelings and in the classic form of a skilled blogger, he backs up his statements with a large quantity of linking. 

These links, include an article from CNN, which attributes the most recent round of violence to an anti-tank missile fired by Hamas militants at IDF forces on November 10th. Baddar is incensed that CNN offered far less prominent coverage to a November 8th incident, where a Palestinian boy was killed in an Israeli military incursion into the Gaza Strip. This story appeared on the Palestinian wire-service Ma’an News Agency but failed to make the rounds on corporate sites in the same way, including CNN, subsequent stories regarding November violence in the area did.

In his critique of the mainstream media, Baddar points out that incendiary remarks made by prominent Israeli officials received far less airtime on american mainstream outlets than they did in foreign newspapers and independent online news sites. For example, the liberal British newspaper, The Independent, broke the story of Israel’s Interior Minister, Eli Yishai, saying, “(the) goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages.” Alternatively, The Huffington Post lead the way in following up on equally fiery remarks made by Gilad Sharon, son of former Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon. In an op-ed, the younger Sharon stated, “We(Israel) need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza.”          

Additionally, Baddar, points to the independent online not-for-profit, The Electronic Intifadaas a website that is almost unknown within the United States, I had no idea it existed, and one that offers a Palestinian perspective on Arab-Israeli relations. Author, Ali Abunimah submitted a blog on November 15th to the website regarding his opinions why early efforts to reach a truce, in the week-long conflict’s infantile stages, fell through. 

As stated earlier, Baddar is an activist, an activist who has clearly not removed himself from the long-lasting conflict between Israel and Palestine. Nevertheless, while being thoroughly one-sided in his critique of the one-sided coverage in the mainstream media, Baddar illuminates the vast resources and bountiful perspectives available on alternative forms of media; from independent websites, quasi-independent in the case of Huff Post and foreign news services. 

The Continued Rise of Internet Journalism

As the field of journalism moves from a predominately print based medium, to one that is mostly distributed  online, the concept of objective reporting has spurred a heated debate between traditional journalists who advocate non-opinionated reporting and Internet blogging journalists who are aggressive proponents of declaring one’s own philosophical underpinnings. 

However, the move from print to online has affected the field of journalism in more ways than one. In addition, to questioning the once sacred ideal of objectivity, the rise of online journalism has greatly increased the presence of citizen journalists. These are reporters with little to no journalistic training, who are nevertheless, currently covering events once monopolized by professional writers.

As everyday citizens take on the roles traditionally held by journalists the line between the two, which once existed begins to disintegrate, hampering the ability of politicians to make off the record remarks as the debate surrounding what citizen journalists can ethically publish is thrust into a state of flux.     

“We have entered new territory, and the rules are not all clear…you have to assume that everything is on the record,” said Larry Pryor, a journalism professor from the University of Southern California, in an article from the Los Angeles Times.   

The Huffington Post, a revolutionary blog in its own right, was at the forefront of harnessing the power of citizen journalism with its Off The Bus program during the 2008 presidential primaries. Off The Bus utilized Huffington Post’s vast readership, using citizen journalists to cover the primaries in states throughout the nation.

One of these citizen journalists for Off The Bus, Mayhill Fowler, created a significant amount of controversy following two incidents wherein she did not clearly identify herself as a reporter and subsequently gleaned damning stories about Senator Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton.

Fowler, was thrust into a storm of controversy after she published Obama’s remarks regarding bitter small-town Americans who cling to their guns and religion. The controversy surrounding Fowler occurred due to the fact that the remarks were made by the future president at a “closed” fundraiser that was supposed to be bereft of journalists.  Fowler, the 61 year-old Oakland native was a donor to the Obama campaign, and thus given access to the private event. 

For her actions Fowler faced a hail of criticism and even a few death threats from Obama supporters, accusing her of being a Clinton operative attempting to torpedo Obama’s bid for the democratic nomination. However, Fowler stood her ground as an Obama supporter, who made light of the remarks only after consulting with editors at The Huffington Post and deciding for herself that the remarks were elitist and condescending, a side of Obama the voters deserved to see before election day. 

Surprisingly, the “guns and religion” incident was not Fowler’s last hurrah into the national spotlight during the heated 2008 democratic primaries. Traveling all the way to Milbank, South Dakota, the California native asked former President Bill Clinton his opinion on a less than positive article in Vanity Fairconcerning his conduct and uncanny ability to bring negative attention to his wife’s (Hillary Rodham Clinton’s) bid for the democratic presidential nomination.

Unsurprisingly, the 42nd president was not pleased with the article and went on a rant, parts of which declared the author of the article, Todd Purdum, to be a, “sleazy,” “dishonest,” “slimy,” “scumbag.”         

Notably, Bill Clinton’s unbecoming rant against Vanity Fair was baited by Fowler, who lured in Clinton by referring to the unbecoming article as a “hatchet job.”      

On the other hand, Fowler claims she held her tape-recorder in plain sight as Clinton departed the event in rural South Dakota. However, she did not identify herself as a reporter, and it is doubtful that a one-time Commander-in-Chief, would have made such candid and boorish remarks to a member of the fourth-estate, had he known they belonged to the fourth-estate.  

Both of Fowler’s incidents concern the debate surrounding the role of citizen journalists in 21st century journalism and what admissions from public officials these citizen journalist, who blend in with the rest of the plebeian masses, can construe as on-the record remarks.

In contemporary society Politicians must always be on guard and tactful with remarks, even to devout supporters, in an age where inflammatory sound-bytes and quotes spread like wildfire throughout the World Wide Web.  

It is my opinion that this development is a good thing. The rise of citizen journalism has brought an end to an age where politicians cozied up with beat reporters and vice-versa. Throughout the 20th century politicians and public figures could clearly see the differentiation between on-the record and off-the record remarks. Now in the 21st century this differentiation is gone, all records can and will be considered on the record. Politicians can no longer hide behind friendly writers and can at any time be caught in less than desirable circumstances, circumstances that cannot be fixed by a press secretary and circumstances where prominent officials are accountable to explain to the public any number of unbecoming transgressions.

The ability of citizen journalists to blend in with the public and catch public officials in acts usually missed or ignored by contemporary journalists increases the access of American constituents to those members of the nation who are supposed to be representing them. Any time officials of the Republic are unable to distance themselves from the denizens of the Republic, the spirit of democracy is advanced; even if it is at the cost of personal privacy. 

The End of Objectivity?

It is no secret that newspapers have been hard pressed to remain profitable outlets throughout the 21st century and as many journalists move from print to the Internet, the field of journalism faces an identity crisis. 

Objectivity, the hallmark of the most prominent print journalism outlets, is an ideal internet media appears to have left in the last century.

In its place the concept of transparency has emerged, where regardless of how opinionated a blogger or e-journalist is, the validity of their statements can be traced through a series of links; allowing the audience to gauge the accuracy of the content being consumed. Bloggers are proud of whatever point of view they convey on their websites and by making their partisan opinions readily apparent, they hide nothing from their readers, who in turn, are allowed to consume the content being produced with the knowledge of the author’s opinions.

 

Many contemporary print journalists believe this transition from objectivity to transparency is a violation of the basic ethics of the journalistic field.

However, the Society of Professional journalists: Code Of Ethics, makes no mention of objectivity, while there are multiple references to the importance of fairness and accuracy throughout the code. To this end, the transparent nature of blogging does not oppose SPJ’s code of ethics. In fact the transparency of online journalism, where the audience can track the accuracy of a writer’s opinions through links, easily refuting ill-founded conjectures due to the massive resources of the Internet, does a great deal to insure accuracy throughout the blogging community. 

Online commentator David Weinberger believes Transparency is the new Objectivity, replacing the unbiased style of the in-print mediums, which once dominated the industry.

 

Despite the best intentions of the most altruistic journalists, it is absurd to pretend that an individual, regardless of how ethical, can completely suppress all of their biases or the biases of the company for which they are employed. 

“Transparency gives the reader information by which she can undo some of the unintended effects of the ever-present biases. Transparency brings us to reliability the way objectivity used to,” said Weinberger.

This concept of transparency prospers online due to the linkability of the Internet. An author can easily compile  a multitude of links supporting his or her claims and creating an online paper-trail of facts, through which a reader can follow up on, to ensure the validity of an author’s musings. 

When a journalist pretends, even unintentionally, they do not have any biases, readers can be misled if they do not question the spin of news stories professing to be objective. Here, the transparent nature of online journalism reveals its usefulness. With opinions out in the open little is left to doubt, material can be taken at face value and points made by an author can be legitimized or refuted in a matter of minutes. A process which used to take days, through letters to an editor in the a case a mistake occurred in a newspaper article, now takes only a few clicks of a mouse.    

Proof that a lack of objectivity can exist simultaneously with fair and accurate reporting can be found across the Atlantic Ocean within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In the U.K. it is the norm for major print publications to offer subjective content to their audience. The Times, has offered up conservative commentary since its introduction in 1785, while The Guardian has advanced centre-left issues since it was first published in the industrial center of Manchester in 1821.

Despite the opinionated nature of both publications, they have both contributed volumes of legitimate and accurate journalism throughout their existence. The support of each paper for a certain political viewpoint has never inhibited the ability of the journalists in their employ, to produce fair content. British readers know the politics behind the paper and are able to consume information with these opinions in mind, allowing British subjects to form their own opinions bereft of an ill-found guise of objectivity. 

 

The Middlemen

In the wake of two somewhat cynical posts regarding the ability of governments and corporations to leverage their influence in an effort to control the flow of content on the internet, a return to the potential benefits of the online community is in order. 

For bloggers, independent videographers, unsigned musicians and other nonaffiliated content producers, a great benefit of the Internet is the ease and low-cost in which anyone can produce and distribute content. On top of this, the ability to produce content without the influence of publishing companies, record corporations or other third-party influences grants the content creators, a certain liberty to pursue their interests and expound on their opinions in whatever way they themselves see fit.     

Unfortunately, the Internet, with its long-tail economic model, where consumers can choose from a wide variety of content, is not always highly lucrative to producers of independent media. Additionally, when these independent outlets do become profitable, these unaffiliated content producers often find a large part of their revenue comes from advertisers. Whenever advertisers take a prominent role in financing online media, whether it’s a political blog to an online gossip show, these formerly independent content producers begin to acknowledge the effect their content will have on their revenue streams, putting the independence of their content at risk to one degree or another.

YouTube, is by far the most popular video-sharing website on the Internet and since 2007, a sizable minority of video producers have become “partners” with the website featuring their videos. YouTube adds advertising  to independently produced content and then sends a portion of the ad revenue to the content’s creator. This set-up has allowed many part-time YouTube video producers to literally quit their day jobs and focus on their YouTube content. A 2008 New York Times piece on the topic, features the story of Michael Buckley; a former administrative assistant for Live Nation, who lives in Connecticut. 

Buckley’s celebrity gossip show, What the Buck?, which appears three times a week, nets the man over $100,000 a year. This money comes from YouTube advertisements and is a prime example of the Internet’s ability to cut out the middlemen, who in the past were responsible for forwarding content through corporate publishing and broadcasting avenues; before created material ever reached a sizable audience. Contemporary creative content producers no longer need professionals to ensure there material reaches a mass audience. 

In this manner creators of independent media not only free themselves from the corporate interests of studios and publishing firms regarding controversial material, even if it’s at the expense of advertising funded content, they also enable anyone with the available time to get their message onto the Internet; ensuring a dialogue and ever-present cycle of new ideas throughout the digital community that might disappear if Net Neutrality becomes an ideal of the past.  

YouTube’s “partner” model is great for small unknown independent content producers, whose habitual musings can turn into comfortable careers. On the other hand, well-know artists can also reap the benefits of the Internet’s ability to leave middlemen shut out from the dissemination of content from creator to consumer.

Radiohead, the English group who broke onto the scene in the early 1990s with the single “Creep,” developed a fanatical fan-base and became alternative rock legends with their break from the mainstream music scene. The band continues to be groundbreaking pop culture icons with their new album In Rainbows. Radiohead effectively circumvented any third party influence a record company could have on the production of a studio album by offering In Rainbows online, without a fixed price and without the backing of an industry label. 

By using the internet to go directly to the consumer, Radiohead, eliminated any possibility of deadlines or intrusions on the music group’s artistic preferences. An independently produced album, In Rainbows, offers the band’s fans a completely unrestricted view at the artistic preferences of the quintet. A view that comes at whatever price the audience sees fit, a revolutionary step that allows those formerly known as the audience to pay what they deem a fair price. Notably, in this arrangement the band receives 100 percent of the revenue, as they are free from the costly entanglements of record label contracts. 

The members of Radiohead, have achieved enough success to easily produce an independent album, where substantial amounts of sales come from user determined pricing; with little risk to their professional careers. Nevertheless, this concept of providing cheap or free content is one often employed by start-up bands without record labels who disseminate their content on websites including Myspace.com.    

These band with far fewer followers and far less notoriety than Radiohead, cannot expect the same level of cash inflow that the English group received following their In Rainbows experiment; an experiment which proved true fans will give artists money to keep producing enjoyable content. However, the model being employed by Radiohead can greatly benefit even the small-scale musicians, who fill the annals of Myspace.

Through In Rainbows, Radiohead, a band made famous by challenging the status quo has done it again, making independent albums available mainly online they are setting a precedent. A precedent where record labels and the corporate interests that often follow are not necessary to produce critically acclaimed music, which can reach a wide audience and return a much larger profit margin to the content creators.        

As bloggers and musicians have utilized the Internet to avoid publishers and record companies, director Edward Burns, has also attempted to cut out the middleman from the movie industry. An article in the Los Angeles Times, explains how Burns, whose movies focus on the lives of young professionals in New York City, realized his films were often not distributed through large tracts of the country and it made more sense to cut distribution costs by making his new film, Purple Violets, solely available on iTunes.

According to David Sarno of the LA Times, “Releasing a film online eliminates costs associated with printing and distribution, while also making the film available, in essence, everywhere.” 

The Internet provides content producers, bloggers and web-casters, with the unprecedented opportunity of cutting out the middleman; leading to higher profit margins for themselves and more uninfluenced content for their audience. In the Internet era any content producer can go straight to the consumer cutting out middlemen responsible for distributing the content in previous decades.

With the elimination of these corporate middlemen, content creators control when and how their content goes to the public adding to the diverse opinions available throughout the online community.