Does the Net Make Us Culturally Lazy?

Cyrus Farivar answers the question for himself in a radio commentary for CBC Radio 1鈥檚 Spark!. You can listen to the complete program here. I found it after browsing Cyrus Farivar鈥檚 blog, a great example of how a freelance journalist makes use of the blog platform. And I found his blog after listening to a story he produced about Iranian bloggers behind bars for PRI鈥檚 The World.

Farivar found during a recent stay in France that he remained connected to North American media via iPhone. He read the New York Times instead of Le Monde, and noted strategically for his CBC listeners that North American public radio is so much better than anything he could hear in France. His conclusion? He consumed his familiar media because he could, because the Internet now makes it so easy to do so.

I have to admit that I鈥檓 guilty of the same cultural practice.聽 When I鈥檓 in Toronto, I wake up with NPR鈥檚 Morning Edition instead of CBC鈥檚 Metro Morning with Andy Barrie. I used to listen to Andy. I constructed my mental map of the GTA with coordinates learned by listening to the traffic reports. But as it became easier and easier to get an NPR stream on the net, I reverted to my standard morning routine. I told myself that I couldn鈥檛 get enough news 鈥 U.S. and international — otherwise. Blame it on the crack of news.

The argument works in the other direction, though. Thanks to the Internet, I can follow Cyrus Farivar wherever geek wanderlust carries him. And I can turn down the volume on my American radio to listen to a CBC stream.

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