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Shifts from Mass to Micro Media Affect Culture

TelecomTV's Martyn Warwick offers an interesting commentary entitled "Culture Club?" where he asks some very provocative questions about what comes next -- now that open access to 'micro media' is forever changing the old world order of 'mass media.'
"It happened first in the US, a nation founded on the thesis of individual libertarianism, spreading from there around the world to take in the likes of the UK, France, Spain, Sweden and eventually even Russia after the implosion of the Soviet Union. It�s rampant, and necessary now even in China as the PRC forges its way to industrial domination of the globe. And as for those nations, like North Korea, Burma, Saudi Arabia and others that maintain a hammerlock on what their populations can access and see, on a global level, who cares? They are irrelevant in terms of the mass market.

However, almost limitless mass choice does throw up some questions about the future of cultures. Indeed, it seems to many that mass culture no longer exists and that we are living in a time of fragmented niches, of microcultures where people inhabit different virtual zones of interest and constantly have their preferences and prejudices (whatever they might be) reinforced by others of the same beliefs. What we have to consider is whether or not this is healthy, and if it is not, what can or ought to be done about it.

The Internet by its very nature is a narrow niche mechanism and it has thrown up no panoply of universally recognized Internet stars and personalities. They would have emerged by now, but they haven�t because the Web isn�t about mass movements. Somewhere out there in cyberspace, everyone who wants to be is already famous (or at least well-known) within the confines of the microcosm of society with which they engage, but they remain generally unknown outside that constituency."

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