Our Desk | Online Media: Legalize or shut them down

Renato Marques

The boom of the Internet, and mostly the striving Era of the Social Networks has brought up the phenomenon of the so-called “online media.”

Although the definition of what “online media” is seems to be simple, in reality things are far more complex and, most of the time, the difference between many of the online media that spring up like mushrooms every single day and the regular “weblog,” created in the late 1990s, which reached its peak of popularity in the early 2000s, is basically none.

Maybe it is exactly because the popularity of the “blogs” has decreased leading to a new trend (or a group of new trends) to begin and since people are too lazy to read, there is nothing like adding some videos and other attractive items to catch people’s attention. And, since there are different “mediums” being used, someone decided to call them “media,” just like in “social media.”

Well, for me, and putting aside tight definitions, there is a very clear difference between what I call “real media” or otherwise, and that has to do with the content – more specifically, whether they create content or whether they simply share it.

From my perspective, if you create your own content and put resources to work with a specific purpose, that fits in my mental box of “media.” If you just share content produced by others, well… I think the maximum I can do is to place you in the mental box of “advertising agency.”

But it was not to provide my opinion of what is media or not that I am writing this today. Instead, it is to address the fact that, as we know, there are hundreds of companies and people calling themselves either “media,” or “advertising agencies” or even “influencers” (a word that I seriously want to avoid because for me, an influencer is someone who has a life path or great recognition and who can inspire many others to make the world a better place – sounds cliché, I know). Making “robotic” comments or placing or removing “likes” on social networks is really not my idea of “making the world a better place.”

Moving forward, they exist! All of them! So, how to clearly distinguish what is a real “media company” from someone playing “news,” for me is very simple: legalize them or shut them down.

To continue in this system of saying: “Oh you cannot do this because you are not a registered media,” does not solve the problem – make it legal then! Or not! Accepting “online media companies” is not just a matter of mentality; it is a matter of policy. Some governments accept them, others do not, and I am not trying to say that some are better than others because they accept more things. They are just different.

Putting all these people in the same “box” and letting them play sometimes and not play on other occasions is not logical, and is not acceptable.

Draw a policy, assume a position, make them legal and call for responsibilities from the relevant people when needed (like with any other media) or shut them down and once and for all assume that position. Let’s stop this limbo and purgatory of loopholes because we all know that it is in this “non-system” or in the refusal to embrace one system that the dirty puddles appear and, when you least expect it, you fall into one of them.

Categories Opinion