Over at Jeff Jarvis‘, as well as all over the world, there’s a debate about how online news will affect offline news.
An anonymous comment notes:
>>news organizations AREN’T the ones keeping democracy alive. And maybe they haven’t done so for awhile<<
Exactly correct. “News organizations”, even at their best, reflect a highly commercialized, narrow focus on events of usually superficial and passing interest. More time’s been given to the Yankee pitcher plane crash than, say, the recent study suggesting an enormous death toll in Iraq or developments in Darfur.
Even politics is covered by almost all major outlets as scandal and personalities more than issues and substance. The stories of the century, often in the developing world and rooted in the life and death struggles facing *hundreds of millions* are eclipsed by Michael Jackson and Madonna. A notable exception has been Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN with an outstanding effort by that team to cover the African nightmares of war, famine, and AIDS.
The journalistic high road, for the most part, was left far in the distance decades ago when Ed Murrows were replaced by Geraldos and Bill O’Reillys.
Modern “journalism” … isn’t journalism. It’s a wasteland of superficiality and celebrity ruled by ratings, circulation, and money.
The internet may not make things better, but it can’t get much worse.
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