Nearly four years ago I described the Internet as a “Cartel masquerading as anarchy” . My thoughts were triggered after an excellent lecture at the Oxford Internet Institute by Eli Noam that extended his work on media concentration to the Internet. In the OII version he added names and numbers to the dry abstract that is on-line. Today Guido Fawkes carries a post which exposes the fragility of the political blogosphere. He claims, and I fear he may be correct, that his is the only mainstream political blog that is commercially viable. Many of those cited as indications of a healthy blogosphere holding politicians to account are kept only by massive cross-subsidies from those with political agendas of their own. Does that mean the Internet, for all the claims of Californian liberals and Highgate socialists, is a threat to democracy because of the ease with which free speach can be drowned by systemic propaganda?
Or will it be kept honest by the on-line operations of the former Dead Tree Press?
P.S. Thank you Computer Weekly for hosting me.