Oprah Winfrey's influence in the Middle East

Sunday, January 25, 2009

This video is pretty interesting if you didn't notice it on the Huffington Post today:

One contention with the point about satellite tv meaning that people can't hide from the rest of the world (implying that one's point of view is more challenged the more technology one has): I remember seeing a report on BBC a few years back (2003, I think) on satellite tv and how in most cases the huge variety of selection actually means that people tend to focus even more on their own areas of interest and also tend to choose stations or programs that broadcast things they already agree with, in essence creating a large virtual diaspora that has less to do with geography than before. If you imagine for example a neighborhood with 100 people, 40 of which are on one political wing, 40 on another and 20 in the middle somewhere, with very little technology (let's say one local newspaper) you'll probably see these people meeting up with each other at a local cafe somewhere to talk about the day's news, trying to get a bit more insight into what's going on through the analysis of somebody whose opinion you might respect, even if you don't agree, because there's little else to rely on.

Fast forward to 2009 and you'll probably find the 40 people on each wing each visiting their respective sites and collaborating with people of similar views, meaning that the advance in technology has actually brought about a narrowing of the views a person is exposed to. Sometimes you'll see somebody from a rival site on your own but they quickly get drowned out and don't usually come back.

But then again, if you have a region where a certain topic (let's say gay rights, like in the video) never even comes up in conversation in the first place, well then the advent of technology has brought in something completely new so that would be the exception to the situation above. In that community of 100 people there would only be so much variation in opinion even amongst people that don't agree with each other, and you probably wouldn't be able to find someone that held a view completely outside of the common wisdom of the local community.


  © Blogger templates Newspaper by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP