“Okay, I’m making a new rule: whenever I’m reading something online and I see the phrase “The Mainstream Media,” I’m instantly deducting 40 credibility points from the author. It’s a meaningless phrase and to use it indicates either laziness or sloppiness.
Worst, it’s often a cheap debating technique best used by con men to imply a closeness with the reader. “You know that individual or organization that you can’t stand? You know the one I’m talking about, right? Well how about that! I can’t stand it or him or her either! Why, buying an above-ground pool from me will be like buying it from your best friend!”
But chiefly let’s stick to the problem that it’s a meaningless term. I write a column for a great metropolitan newspaper. I’m part of the Mainstream Media, right? But what happens when I blog here? Whoops, no. I’m a Citizen Journalist. Damn, and then I screwed it all up by appearing on CBS. No! Wait! I think I saved it by doing a podcast.”
Andy is totally right. Am I part of the mainstream media? Am I part of it when I blog? When I post on Flickr? It’s a meaningless term.