Journalism, I Mourn For Thee (part 1)   3 comments

I haven’t yet paid money for an electronic publication.  Have you?

I do pay dollars for print publications … but then, I’m old.  Older than the average reader of newspapers, come to find out.  Look at the demographics of newspaper readership, here.

But do I pay digital dimes for electronic media?  No.

Mobile pennies?  No way.

And that’s the problem with journalism today.  We as a society are reading newspapers less and less.  We are subscribing less and less.  Revenues are falling.  Quickly.

Are we paying money for electronic media as a substitute?  Not so much.  So who is paying for the journalists?

The easy answer is not enough people. That’s why newspapers are shrinking or closing all together.

We’re all quick to throw rocks at bad journalism … I was fascinated by the Manti Te’o stories over the last couple of days.  Mr. Te’o struck up an internet romance with a young lady, apparently, except it wasn’t a  real lady.  And then she died.  Or maybe she never existed, but Mr. Te’o thought she did.  It’s very confusing.  Here’s the New York Times summary, here.

In any event, there were several media critics eager to blame the other journalists that believed the story and ran it without verifying that there was an actual dead woman.  In this era of journalistic cutbacks, it’s easy to understand how sports journalists weren’t seeking out funeral homes to verify there was a body to match the alleged tragedy of a premiere football player.  But is it excusable?

Wacky times.

Bottom line is this:  we no longer have a reliable press corps that is seeking truth in every thing they report before they report it.  “Get it right, first” is no longer the slogan to live by.  Perhaps now it’s “Get it, then revise it, then update it, then apologize if you had errors.”

And by not subscribing to electronic publications, we’re not helping the big media companies pay for better journalists.

I don’t watch TV news much (meaning never outside of special coverage) … so I’m not helping the networks by watching their ads, either.

And for those journalists still fortunate enough to have a job, we have a media savvy elite that’s not cooperating. Did you know President Obama had fewer press conferences in his first term than Clinton or either of the Bushes?  He’s not talking to journalists much … and he’s hand picking those he will talk to.  At those somewhat rare press conferences, he called on ABC correspondents twice as often as he called on Fox correspondents.

I understand wanting to avoid hostile questions … but is he also avoiding discussing alternative views by not talking to journalists that don’t support him?

Journalism, I mourn for thee.

3 responses to “Journalism, I Mourn For Thee (part 1)

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  1. Pingback: The Week That Was «

  2. Pingback: Journalism, I Mourn For Thee (part 2) |

  3. Pingback: Jounalism, I Mourn For Thee (Part 3) |

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