Monday, March 26, 2012

[PL 211] YouTube's Epistemic Power

This clip from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart raises the following question:

Does the Internet carry more epistemic weight with young people than mainstream news outlets do?

In other words, if an independent source, as opposed to a mainstream news organization, reports on YouTube that p, are young people more likely to believe that p?

Is it reasonable (i.e., are there good reasons) to give more epistemic weight to independent sources than to mainstream news outlets?

1 comment:

  1. Independent sources carry far more weight with young people these days then mainstream media outlets do. I can say this with confidence as I am a young person in todays world and I know what myself and my peers listen to. The days of mainstream media like newspapers and even the nightly news are almost completely phased out for young people. Even as I sat here commenting on this blog I found myself getting lost in YouTube after trying to look in to Kony 2012. I heard the name Kony and Syria on the above Daily Show clip and immediately without even thinking went to YouTube to search for them instead of a mainstream news website. I believe that speaks volumes. Additionally, I believe that young people are also much more likely to believe an independent source over a mainstream news outlet because independent reporters will tell you their opinion from the start, or at least make it obvious. With mainstream media there are not nearly as many options when looking for varying opinions; you basically have Democrat or Republican. With independent reporting outlets you are able to scan hundreds if not thousands of peoples different opinions and decide on your own rather then having one shoved down your throat.

    I also do think it is reasonable to give more epistemic weight to an independent source rather than a mainstream news outlet. I say this because as I stated before, the mainstream news outlets have an agenda and young people these days dont want to listen to "the man" or conform. Young people these days want to make drastic change and they do that by finding movements to support on places like YouTube and FaceBook. The days of reading a newspaper and even watching the nightly news are over; young people have found a new way of communicating and they are using it to effect big changes.

    -Rich Dolan


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