With the rise of the internet, the mainstream Media are in long term decline as Citizen Scientists using Citizen News Media begin to dominate those Universal subjects like climate. But were they given a helping hand by the antics of Wikipedian editors?This graph from Climate Resistance today was a bit of an eye opener. Both the Independent and the Guardian circulation figures are in freefall. At this rate the Independent will have no readers by 2018 and the Guardian around 2020-25 and clearly the result is the Independent is up or sale. The problem as Climate Resistance put it is that:
No British newspaper has taken climate change to its core agenda quite like the Independent, which regularly publishes graphic-laden front pages threatening global meltdown, with articles inside continuing the theme.
But this is not as one might imagine as sceptics, that the ungrateful public are punishing these papers. In reality it is almost the other way around. I believe the actual reason these papers have died is yes! … because they pushed environmentalism … but no! it’s not punishment but almost a mark of their success! The problem is that if your core readership is obsessed by the problems of the world … then they can find them any time they like on the World Wide Web.
To use an analogy: if you can read “climate porn” for free on the internet, who on earth is going to buy a newspaper?
And which group above all else can be thanked for killing these papers?
The Citizen News Media would have taken off anyway, but when it comes to the climate, they were given an almighty shove by certain people. And those people were the Wikipedia editors that blocked EDITORS (i.e. people who like writing) from contributing to Wikipedia.
What a daft move! To really annoy the one group of people who are most likely to do something: internet savey writer who are most opposed to your idea and those most likely to stir up the debate and get public opinion motivated against the editors on Wikipedia.
In a real sense the pro-environmentalist lobby pushed forward the decline of these newspapers by pushing environmental activism onto the internet. By killing the debate on Wikipedia, they were largely responsible for making enough sceptics angry enough to go out in their droves, create fantastic blogs like WUWT, Bishop Hill, Jo Nova, Climate Audit (and far too many others to name individually) and almost out of nothing these editors created a whole counter culture which far from being squashed, now actually dominates the climate debate. (uClimate.com shows twice as many sceptic articles per month!)
And as the Wikipedia editors heated the debate on the internet to super hot – how did all the believers respond? Was it:
- To buy many more Guardian/Independent newspapers?
- To set up rival FREE CLIMATE NEWS, TO GO WITH FREE ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS TO GO WITH ALL THOSE ISSUES SO DEAR TO THE HEART OF GUARDIAN & INDEPENDENT READERS?
Indeed, if you realise the core of the Guardian readership is academics and that core interest of academics is interested in”Universal human knowledge” then that’s what they want to read about. Universal issues & universal subjects like the environment. And is there any much point having more than one newspaper worldwide if the subject is universal? No! But in the new free internet age, if the main rival “newspaper”, is a worldwide free to view on line version produced by free-to-view climate & environmental activists and other academics blogging away to their hearts content, the Guardian/Independent didn’t have a chance.
No wonder they have been the first to go.