Friday, July 30, 2004

Conventions are such charades now, I was thinking the media should avoid them altogether. But Jay Rosen, quoted in the Wash.Post, points out that there is a need for good journalism about cultural rituals. As I wrote earlier this month in my review of The Creation of the Media, the media's function is to facilitate ritual. And it is odd that the media keeps cutting back on convention coverage citing the ceremonies' lack of news, yet they were all over the Ronald Reagan funeral, which also lacked news--Reagan wasn't going to get any deader.

Jay Rosen is here to chronicle the convention for his Web column, PressThink, along with about 30 other online entrepreneurs who will be placed on the convention's "Blogger Boulevard" and offer an idiosyncratic take on the proceedings.

Conventions can be interesting, says Rosen, "but it would require a very different lens of journalism to show that. Rituals do have meaning, just not in the category of new information. Journalists tend to think of rituals as inherently meaningless, but they're not."

The dominant theme of the coverage, Rosen wrote online, is "irony about politics, irony about newslessness, and irony on TV about TV. That is where we are marooned today. But the irony ('one big infomercial, folks') no longer instructs or inspires anyone, professional ironizers included. It's a big dead zone in the narrative of presidential politics." x

More here and at left under "About this blog." Relevant word from WordSpy: banalysis.

No comments: