Soukie's Place

keeping track of random thoughts

A Walk Through the Changes

Soukie’s Place turned one year old on September the 17th. But as Harrison Ford beautifully ad-libbed in Raiders of the Lost Ark: “It’s not the years … it’s the mileage.” Join me for a brief look at what has changed, and a lamentation on the decline of media.

The past year brought a number of bad news but I would like to take this opportunity to discuss how these events have influenced “the news” themselves. But before I get to that — this being the anniversary of Soukie’s Site — a few introspective words:

Twenty-one articles were published over six months of activity (there was a break when I was adjusting after relocating to a different country). In keeping with the tag line…keeping track of random thoughts…, the subjects range from philosophy to technology, so feel free to subscribe only to the areas that interest you. If you use a compatible browserAt this time Firefox or Safari to support all the features properly. But whatever the browser of your choice, make sure you have its latest version installed on your computer., you can enjoy the upgraded look with professional fonts and audio or video playback without pluginsThis and other improvements that are part of the upcoming html5 are going to be discussed in the upcoming article.. You can also watch a video showcasing other bells-and-whistles that make reading Soukie’s Place hopefully more enjoyable.

Catering to the widest audience creates a downward spiral of standards

As was promised, let’s have a look at what the professional media have been up to during the past year.

The economic pressures apparently served to accelerate a very unfortunate process that has been around for a long time: That of media approaching the (lowest) common denominator in order to attract the widest audience. This inevitably lowers the average quality, leading to a downward spiral. Newspapers and TV networks should not underestimate the audience, and certainly should not be afraid of addressing complex issues in a way that does them justice. As things are, most media are doing a great disservice to everyone by not stimulating their readers, viewers and listeners to rise from wherever they happen to be. Apparently, the opposite pays better.

Thinking about the above trend prompted me to expand the criteria for my articles to make sure I would not be tempted to follow suit in order to get more readers or donations. Soukie’s Place is not here to generate income, so I am luckily free to write as I see fit. On the other hand, I am convinced it must be possible for professional media to adhere to high standards (much higher than is within my abilities) and not run out of business while doing so.

As for the future, if I can have my readers find it half as interesting and fun to read the articles as it is for me to prepare and write them, it will be a great new year!

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