Two kinds of media use
by Ken Smith Saturday, May 12, 2018

Reading just now about absurdly run "debate" shows that are more ritual combat than honest discussion.

They pretend to offer shared inquiry, and the journalists who run them are fatalistic about the nature of their shows. It's hard for the rest of us to do much about the poor quality of broadcast media.

But some media forms are more easily tilted toward our own uses.

I think of photographers who use Instagram and Facebook to build a community of artists who encourage and celebrate the good work of their peers. Poets on Twitter share new work and link to new pieces they admire by others. Painters on Facebook show works in progress and recently completed and announce new gallery shows. 

These three kinds of artists create community among practitioners and fans; they create a virtual space, often linked to public performances, where they enjoy and influence each other. They break down the solitude of being an artist. They strengthen the economics of their art, and sometimes they even defend their art form politically in the world.