Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The Interviewed Expert

Another consequence of Rathergate could be the end of the era of the interviewed expert.

Heretofore, major media got to decide which experts got to chime in on any particular story. 10 years ago only the opinions of experts selected by CBS and other major media organizations would have been heard. Today, any expert, in any field, can chime in on any story.

The legacy media has long leant credence to some ideas that had little broad scientific or expert following by the simple expedient of giving the minority viewpoint "equal time." The media created the illusion of widespread doubt and conflict by not weighting the time and space given to experts in proportion to their degree of agreement with others in their field.

I think that in the future, experts will spontaneously comment on stories and ideas via the Internet. People will begin to credence viewpoints (in areas where they must rely on authority) based on a broad consensus of the people who know the most about a subject.