Markets aren't magical. They simply bring together supply and demand. This can be frightening in the world of media as there is demand for certain kinds of opinions that people are happy to supply. There is demand for stories about conspiracies, extraterrestrials, heroes, and villains. While I am not saying that none of these things exist, I am saying that the supply of such stories has more to do with demand than supporting data.
There is an argument that blogs are the worst offenders in the supply of "demand-for" opinions. An intriguing post by Bruno Giussani, "Medialess Culture / Cultureless Media," explores a variety of topics. One is the claim (reported, rather than made, by Giussani) that "A key phenomena is that one of the central classic notions of journalism, objectivity, is nowhere to be found on the blogs."
Has a market-driven media and the free-for-all blogs brought us into the world defined by deconstructionists - a relativistic chasm into which any voice can shout out bizarre claims and hear them echoed in the form of shared delusions and confirmed opinions? Has nuance become a foreign language? It is easy to become pessimistic about the future of informed discourse if we accept these claims, believing that the media and Internet have fragmented into self-referential opinion factories.
And yet, I remain stupidly optimistic. Why? Because along with the market for opinions, there is a market for efficacy, for what works. People who are making a difference will force a confrontation between reality and the many opinions and theories about it. Bloggers can swap opinions, but they can also challenge conventional views that have muddled our perception of reality. And in the end, reality will prevail. It always does. Eventually.