In announcing its Person of the Year yesterday, Time heralded the arrival of “a new digital democracy,” in which “you, not we, are transforming the information age.” The citizen-journalism crowd welcomed Time’s condescension, but argued that the magazine didn’t go far enough in abandoning its legacy as a gatekeeper of the news. The fact that “the cover didn’t say ‘Us’ instead of ‘You,'” wrote Dan Gillmor, head of the Center for Citizen Media, “was a vestige of the magazine’s traditional, royal thinking wherein they told us everything they thought we needed to know (and what to think about it).”
With exquisite timing, Google today released its year-end Zeitgeist report, revealing “our collective consciousness” as expressed through our searches. The list of our top-ten news searches of the year provides a delightful preview of what we can expect when those dastardly news editors finally stop filtering the news and let “us” decide what we need to know:
1. paris hilton
2. orlando bloom
5. hurricane katrina
7. martina hingis
9. 2006 nfl draft
10. celebrity big brother 2006
You might have been under the impression that there were big stories coming out of places like Iraq and Darfur this year. That only shows how brainwashed you’ve been by the mainstream news media.
There is one encouraging note in Google’s report. The movie that attracted the most searches for showtimes during the year was Idiocracy, Mike Judge’s prophetic film about a future America where the leading newsweekly is called Hot Naked Chicks & World Report.