Upon starting “The Rise of the Blogosphere” by AAron Barlow, I was immediately interested in the historic content of the introduction. While many people do not take the time to think of the evolution of media, and particularly that of politically based media, I have always been interested in the way media has shaped United States history. Barlow covers the history of American news media from the origins of the country, beginning with the issue of whether the media is responsible to the people or for the people. There was no prior example of a country like the United States going through such a rapid transition to democracy, so there was no prior example for how the media should operate.
Barlow then transitions through history, eventually turning to the events of 9/11 and how the media reacted to the tragic event that changed media and the United States’ political course of action. Barlow writes, “The failure of the news media by the turn of the twenty-first century was much more profound than in generally recognized,” (xx). The state of media prior to the 9/11 attacks were rooted in media complacency, and following the attacks, there was a sudden rectification of those looking to restructure news media in the United States.
As an English/ political science major, looking at both the written aspect and the political aspect of media helps me to understand the importance of the history of media. Barlow writes, “A vibrant, local press serves as a cornerstone of democracy, and that its loss was a loss for the people,” (xiv). Entering 2017, with the existent definition of democracy standing at a very precarious point, it is more important than ever to use social media to engage the American people to ensure democracy persists.