Above: An area of marshland. Credit: Steve Hillebrand.


The media landscape in the Digital Era is defined by unreliability. It's an age in which disinformation abounds and every once basic fact seems to be open to interpretation and dispute. For a commentator like J.G. Ballard, "We're living in an era when nothing is true and nothing is untrue." Or, for Jean Baudrillard: "Information long ago broke through the truth barrier and moved into the hyper-space where things are neither true nor false ..."

Anything at all encountered within the contemporary media landscape is only somewhat believable or credible. The reader/browser seeking to become informed, often finds that this urge to comprehend leads, annoyingly and ironically, into a boggy terrain of distortions and disingenuousness. In the face of this vexing realm of claim, counter-claim and bias, the Internet reader/browser can tend to become debilitated and weak, depressed--disengaged--and/or nihilistic ("Who knows? Who cares? Why bother?"). Imagined as a literal geographical landscape the online media landscape is like a pathless, spongy, waterlogged marshland that continuously gives way underfoot.

(21 February 2019)