26 September, 2002
If Davidson had the equivalent of Maxim, no one would read Libertas. Our closed environment affords us the privilege of a captive audience--a luxury that most media would fight for. And fight they do.
Television channels and lifestyle magazines have proliferated in the past decades, and they're all competing for our attention, determined to render our eyes captive in that crucial pause necessary for information transmission. Competition lowers prices, but also standards. The more we're barraged with information overload, the higher our tolerance grows. It's in such a vacuous setting that Fox is actually able to run a reality show that will pick a people's candidate for the presidential race in 2004.
In what sense are we a captive audience, even as we choose which lifestyle magazines we buy, which news programs we endorse? Captivity coincides with complacency, with a lack of interest in one's environment. If media is our way of engaging with the rest of the world, what happens when the attitude of the media we digest is particularly disengaged?
At Davidson, we're lucky to have intelligent forums for discussion. While you're here, you can get an idea out and be heard; the world outside isn't so easy. Although this issue of Libertas has focused on the media of the past, its real import lies in the present. Media are only as good as their readers. Complacency in media reception leads to their dissipation.
--l a m a r