The Dragnetizen is the first step towards promoting and enacting my vision of a broadcast media that is inclusive of more people. The way I see it, all aspects of society are collaborative works. The media I envision will more fully embrace that.
Most current media has a heavy preference for a select group of folks. I want to be perfectly clear that I have no issues with those groups. Many preform invaluable work and I want to hear their thoughts, analysis and findings. But when it comes to punditry about that, I think there should be a wider selection from society. Not just on occasion, but on every occasion where punditry or opinion is involved. Audience questions are good, but they are not enough. I want to hear audience answers.
What better way to do this than to ensure they always have a seat at the table? Not a seat on the sidelines or in the proverbial peanut gallery, but at the actual table as a guest pundit. This would allow for potentially new perspectives to be heard and discussed.
And guests should be paid to share their thoughts. Everyone needs to make a living. And I think one possible way to do this while reducing accusations of guests being shills is for there to be complete transparency on where that media outlet’s funding comes from, while the guests have no idea which slices of that funding pie they are receiving. This way, all guests would know is that they are being paid to contribute their thoughts. There may be other steps needed here, but that’s a broad overview.
There will be a rotating selection of contributors who will join the standard pundits in discussions. People would be able to apply to be a contributor and there would be no requirement for this selection of contributors to be experts. You don’t have to be an expert to have an opinion.
Being a member of society should be more than enough qualification to opine on topics that matter to our society and that matter to you. Listening to the experts and considering what they say is important. Open-minded applicants who will agree to listen to and consider all other contributors will be the top candidates. But once the experts have chimed in and any relevant facts they’ve offered have been considered, hearing from members of our society in a thoughtful discussion is of great importance to me.
For instance, hearing their thoughts on how they believe a new law might impact their lives would be incredibly valuable. If their perceptions are not correct, an expert could clarify. A round of debates might ensue. And, in the end, real, everyday people could convey how they see things to the world. They would be allowed to discuss nearly in real time how something seems to them. Which could then impact policies and plans.
The people need a seat at the table so they can be heard. Society is a collaborative effort and we miss out when we have a preference for highlighting the opinions of only a select portion of society. More of society should be represented at that table on a daily basis. Nurses, miners, farmers, firefighters, social workers, construction workers, small business owners, moms, dads, the list goes on. Why shouldn’t they be heard on matters that are important to them? The news matters to all of us. It impacts our lives. We should have everyday folk as an integral part of the punditry.
I believe in being forthright. So, I want to be clear in this initial discussion that there will be rules. I will be outlining some of the main ones below.
There would be precautionary steps involved in guest selection. I can hear certain folks’ groans from here, in response to reading this. Hear me out. The outlet I envision would not be a purveyor of unfounded conspiracies. There are already a variety of sources for unfounded conspiracies for those who enjoy that material. That demand has been met already, and then some.
My outlet might debunk unfounded conspiracies but would strive to not promote them unless substantial, thoroughly verifiable evidence exists. At that point, they would no longer be unfounded and could be brought to the table.
The screening of guests would be to primarily weed out purveyors of unfounded conspiracies, gossip, and rumors. There would be vetting of bona fides for any folks who intend to present themselves as a supporter of a person, a party, or other certain positions. Strawmen would be highly discouraged.
There would also be a time delay incorporated in any broadcasts, with violations of the publicly available terms resulting in a single warning and the striking of the commentary. A further violation would result in the guest forfeiting the remainder of their allotted time and would result in the enforcement of provisions in the agreement.
To wrap this up, perhaps this advocacy will inspire existing media to step up. Or perhaps I’ll have to lay extensive foundations before that happens. I don’t know the future. But I do know that I’ll need your support. This will be a full-time job. And if all goes well, this job will come to involve many people from the Heartland to the coasts. I’m just getting started here. I’ll need your collaboration to make this happen. I’m all in on this. You can support this via my Patreon.