I’ve just read the galleys of a book that will be published in a few weeks. It discusses the rise of edge-in, democratized media in distinctly unflattering ways. That, of course, is the author’s privilege.
But is it his right to misrepresent reality to “prove” his point?
The part of the book about which I know most — citizen journalism — contains some startling claims and analysis. It mischaracterizes my own work and beliefs. It gets some key facts dead wrong. It trivializes the genre, in part through the misuse of selective quotes.
I’ve exchanged several emails with the author. He didn’t address my specific issues except in one case, and his response there was no less misguided, from my point of view, than the material from the book. When I called him on this, he explained that the book is a “polemic” designed to spark debate, as if that gives him license to misrepresent things.
This is disappointing, to say the least. I’d been looking forward to this book, because I do believe we (all of us) need to have a deeper conversation about the effects of democratized media and peer-to-peer production.
But I was looking forward to a book that has more integrity than the one I’ve seen. Perhaps it will, in the final version.
If not, such a lost opportunity…