Archive for the ‘advertorials’ Tag

Flaks Growing, Pubs Shrinking   Leave a comment

The Chicago Sun Times famously called the 1948 Presidential election ... and got it wrong. In print.

The Chicago Daily Tribune famously called the 1948 Presidential election … and got it wrong. In print.

The quality of journalism is declining in our society. Or is it?

That’s precisely the question that the Pew Research Center’s annual report on News Media tries to answer … and pundits have had a strikingly divergent reaction to this year’s report. I’ve linked a couple, below, along with Pew’s report. Slate says that journalism has never been better; Newspaper Death Watch has a slightly less optimistic view.  Here’s what Pew said:

“News organizations are less equipped to question what is coming to them or to uncover the stories themselves, and interest groups are better equipped and have more technological tools than ever.”

The reality is that employment in journalism is down below 40,000 now, lower than it was in 1978.  However, the growth of citizen journalists and, of course, the internet, has resulted in an EXPLOSION in the amount of coverage generated daily, and a veritable tsunami of information has resulted from the daily deluge being supplemented by the easy accessibility of seemingly all written thought on the ‘net.

It is fascinating to me that corporations have found it easier to control their message through public relations (PR) and “new media” than they have found ways to effectively advertise it. The result is spectacular growth in PR jobs, even as the number of journalists who can properly interpret the corporate speak has been dropping. Publishers have an increasing pressure on their bottom line, and this has resulted in an increase in sponsored news, or advertorials. The lack of journalistic resources apparently even impacted the Presidential campaign, as Pew said:

“Only about a quarter of statements in the media about the character and records of the presidential candidates originated with journalists, while twice that many came from political partisans.”

Do you really trust political partisans – even if they are YOUR political partisans – to tell you the truth all of the time? I’ve explored that before; read about the lying liars here.

These days, everybody has a blog, it seems (HA. Humor. Coming at you.). I don’t do this to make money (note the lack of advertising and subscription cost). And, ultimately, that’s the problem with journalism these days. I can do this blog easily. And cheaply, believe me. And when you’re reading this, you’re not reading the thoughts of some smart journalist working for the LA Times. Or St Louis Post Dispatch. Or even your local community newspaper.

But then, I understand that. You can afford me.


The Glory Days Of American Journalism

Pew Research Center’s State of the News Media 2013

Newspaper Death Watch