Citizen Media serves the interests of the New Fourth Estate – citizens and their Households. Citizen Media is the source for information citizens must have to make intelligent decisions in the voting booth and in the market place.


In 1999 Robert W. McChesney published the highly regarded and widely quoted book Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times. McChesney documented the devastating economic and social impacts of concentrated ownership of Enterprise Media (aka, corporate media or MainStream Media). McChesney’s focus was the impact of media concentration on democratic processes at the nation-state scale but the scathing condemnation of media in the hands of very large Enterprise’s touched on media’s negative contribution to a broad range of economic and social dysfunctions in contemporary society.

Now, twelve years later, the crisis of Rich Media, Poor Democracy and uninformed citizens have grown worse, far worse.

The Internet has not ‘solved’ the problems of media concentration; it has made understanding the core problems more complex. One need only Google ‘rich media, poor democracy’ to receive a fire hose of condemnation of Enterprise Media practice, especially following the 2010 federal elections. One need only survey the Blogisphere to feel the rising tide of anger from the uninformed. This hostility is termed The Anger of Ignorance or “intentional ignorance.”

As well founded as McChesney’s perspective was, it did little to change the tide. The reason? McChesney provided no overarching Conceptual Framework that citizens could use to sort out facts and realities and to reach a consensus on needed action. Like many in ‘Journalism’ he believed articulation problems was enough. To his credit, McChesney stated that change in media – and thus in dissemination of the information citizens needed – must be part of larger transformations but did not establish a context for those transformations.

McChesney focused on the nation-state scale impact of Enterprise Media. That was and is very important but there has been even greater negative media impact at the Regional, SubRegional, Community, Village, Neighborhood and Cluster scales. See End Note One

It is time for another try.

THE ESTATES MATRIX examines the evolution of the three “Estates of the Realm” from 1304 to 1775. It also outlines the Fundamental Transformation of these three Estates after1775.

During the period 1775 to 2000, the three historical Estates that had evolved over thousands of years transformed into the four contemporary Estates – Agency, Enterprise, Institution and Citizens / Households.

These four Estates evolved to manage contemporary civilization just as the three well widely recognized Estates of the Realm had evolved up to 1775. THE ESTATES MATRIX also outlines the need for, and role of media serving each of the four New Estates, and especially Citizen Media serving the New Fourth Estate.

CITIZEN MEDIA, THE NEXT STEP launches from the foundation established by THE ESTATES MATRIX. See End Note Two

CITIZEN MEDIA, THE NEXT STEP is a multi-chapter Perspective that presents a comprehensive review of what Citizen Media is and how it could evolve to serve the needs of the New Fourth Estate – citizens and their Households.

Chapter One (Getting Off on the Right Foot) opens with a review of unfounded perspective of True Believers in Journalism (with a Capital ‘J’) and their efforts to perpetuate the Myth that there once was a valid Fourth Estate comprised of print media family Enterprises.

Next, Chapter One outlines the three major challenges facing Citizen Media. Chapter One concludes with an articulation of Synergy’s oft stated THE BOTTOM LINE as it applied to Citizen Media.

This rendition of Synergy’s THE BOTTOM LINE lays out the context and questions which will determine if homo sapiens can preserve an advanced technology-based civilization or, at least evolve a NEW BRONZE AGE. Also see ENOUGH? (Forthcoming)

Chapter Two (Citizen Media Context) further considers the three challenges facing Citizen Media and examines the economic, social and physical context in which Citizen Media must evolve and flourish if citizens are to have the information they need to make intelligent decisions.

Chapter Three (Intentional Information Sabotage and Other Lesser Crimes) considers specific obstacles that stand in the way of citizens receiving the information they need to make well- informed decisions based on sound public judgements in the voting booth and in the marketplace. This chapter explore the definitions of Yackers, True Believers, Shills and Agents and considers the extent of Idea Spam and Intentional Information Sabotage.

Chapter Four (The Litmus Test Concept) provides the framework for a tool to protect Citizen Media from Idea Spam and Intentional Information Sabotage, forces that thwart the emergence of a reliable sources of information upon which citizen can depend.

Chapter Five (Prototype Litmus Test) outlines the proposed Litmus Test to screen counterproductive input in dialogue intended to evolve consensus on the best interests of citizens, individually and collectively. Application of The Litmus Test is a technique to nurture the evolution of perspectives and consensus on new strategies and tactics in spite of Idea Spammers and Intentional Information Saboteurs lurking among Yackers, True Believers, Shills and Agents.

Between December 2000 and March 2011 the “Arab Spring” erupted across North Africa and the Middle East. These events provide important lessons and underline the importance of the evolution of Citizen Media. See ENOUGH? (Forthcoming)

Future chapters will address Citizen Media funding and operations as well as provide graphic examples of why the evolution of Citizen Media is the sine qua non of a sustainable trajectory for human civilization.

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