The journalist as the internet political activist

Media Meditations

With the internet, a new form of public intellectual has emerged. The new intellectual shares some similarities with the sophists who emerged in 4th century Athens. In that period of intense intellectual, artistic, and political activity, the Sophists were famed for their rhetorical skills as well as their challenge to the conventional beliefs and opinions. Plato held them responsible for Athens’s decline and Socrates’ death, which meant the term, is often used as an insult. However, the original meaning helps us to understand today’s public intellectuals because their role covers journalists, bloggers and this blurs into internet political activists.

These public intellectuals have been described as tech Intellectuals. The term, coined by Harry Farrell, describe internet writers and activists whose work is driven as much by their exposure on the internet as it is by their political activism. Plato would recognise the way they use their intellectual talents for self-promotion…

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