Sunday, December 14, 2008

Civil Exchanges Hollywood Style

Even as the Writer's Guild of America looks back on the union disputes of the previous year about Internet royalties and looks ahead to currently brewing conflicts with producers, it is interesting to hear how Hollywood writers are putting distributed digital media in the context of friend rather than foe in the course of the annual round of holiday parties in Los Angeles.

It's particularly remarkable to hear how many writers argue that rather than encourage a form of non-communicable polarization, as many Internet critics have argued happens with other political issues in which stakeholders solidify social networks with like-minded others and avoid deliberative activities or negotiations with partisan opposites, productive dialogue emerged. For example, YouTube celebrity and WGA negotiator John Bowman argues that the availability of online channels of communication allowed for fact-checking, compelling argumentation, and the mobilization of smart mobs of diverse social actors.

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