[T]he advent of alternative media has reduced the Non-Fox Media’s ability to stir up urban riots. Today, it’s possible to get information that never would have seen the light of day in the 1980s.What Ann Coulter says here (the first sentence refers to the Ferguson riots in the USA but the second is general), about the alternative media telling a truth that in the 1980s would have never seen the light of day because the old media were the only sources available, is true.
We keep making gloomy, nay catastrophic, predictions based on demographics (I suspect that some of us actually want the future to be as bad as they depict it). But that presumes the clause of coeteris paribus, or all other things being equal. New, unforeseen or - as in this case of the new media and internet use - simply not-considered-in-the-calculus-by-which-we-arrived-at-the-prediction developments may lead to different results.
People have been passive so far, but for many decades they've just been feed mainstream-media fairy tales.
Only recently have the internet new media started providing an alternative, disclosing facts that previously no widely-accessible source ever let people even suspect, explaining and exposing, informing and educating, expanding the range of opinions, releasing from the cage ideas that had remained until that moment taboo, giving expression to censored opinions, immensely widening the scope of what could be known, understood, debated, said and thought.
This digital cultural revolution no doubt will have consequences.
Once people will be less constrained by the blinkers created by the likes of the BBC and The New York Times, things may appear a bit clearer to them.
We probably still have to see the effects of that.
Add the social media, the internet forums and the comments section at the end of articles, which encourage people - albeit in a rough-and-ready sort of way - to form and articulate opinions, and something new may come out of all this.
Incidentally and interestingly, what socialists and communists have falsely believed they could forcefully impose with bloody revolutions and/or gigantic social engineering programs has instead been achieved by free capitalist enterprise and ingenuity. The internet has made highly affordable to everyone who wants it - at least in the developed countries - a first-class education with easy access to world libraries, academic journals, historic accounts, scientific reports. The best writers, the most skilled journalists, the most analytical thinkers, the most entertaining columnists and commentators.