Saturday, December 01, 2012

Leveson - a Semiotic War rages

Video: JK Rowling lays into the PM over Leveson inaction.

The mainstream media's dark night of the soul is here, but not in an isolated way. What can we say about the role of "speech" in an Internet world? One in which words are thrown around the globe in nanoseconds?

Speech is more than just opinion. Speech - or rather, the symbols of language, expressed and compressed through binary modes - is the new medium of power. Words are the new semiotic battleground. The Leveson Affair is an inevitable skirmish along the way.

In one corner, the press wields power due to its ubiquitous headline displays on every street corner. They are an unloved necessity, but their symbols are intermeshed with our bleary subconscious as we go about our daily commute.

In the other corner, authors feel themselves maligned and have their own way with words. They are loved and revered, and their own symbols have the power to shape preferences and passions across generations.

The "public eye" is up against itself. The public administration cannot avoid getting involved now, it's too late for that.

The war of the words is here.