Jay Rosen wonders if there’s any room in AOL’s buyout of HuffingtonPost for “ideological innovation.” He suggests a four-part policy for AOL’s media:
1. Pluralism. Many points of view.
2. Transparency. All contributors explain where they are coming from.
3. “The view from somewhere.” Media sites will be upfront about their general stand point.
4. “Non-negotiables.” Accuracy, fairness, a fact-checking form for every article, etc.
It may look like #1 and #3 conflict. But, as I understand Jay’s point, pluralism applies to AOL, while having a standpoint would apply to sites like HuffPo and to individual topical sub-sites within HuffPo. (Note that pluralism is very different from balance.)
I like this a lot (surprise surprise!), but I wonder about the right level at which to apply the pluralism criterion. If AOL and other media conglomerates follow Jay’s advice, we will have a bunch of pluralistic hens, with one large, ferociously dedicated Fox in the henhouse.
In any case, I hope AOL listens to Jay. And I hope HuffPo stays ideologically committed, stops running the stupid gossip and pin-up articles, and gets off Obama’s back. But that’s just me.