Baby picture “journalism”: Awww, aren’t we great? The kids love us! How self-adoration messed up your information stream.

You would think considering the collapse of an entire industry that those in it would be alarmed and looking to re-invent themselves. Journalism is rigged for narcissists and it shows.

The fact that said narcissists explain away and ignore their destruction makes it hard to imagine why they ever chose journalism as it is supposed to be the business that deals with reality, not Pollyanna gushiness.

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Newsweek’s brass finally have some clue how bad it has become for them:

Newsweek Exec in Secret Tape: We Gotta Turn the Business Around or We’re Dead

Sorry, that ship to Hades has already sailed and you arrived. You lost your credibility, and no amount of propagandistic cheerleading is going to save you when people can find other outlets have their life theories validated.

But others in the business are still clueless because there hasn’t been any raid at their newsrooms, so hey, everything must be great!

Like this opinion piece in a local newspaper in Hamilton. Golly, I spoke to the kids and they love us!

I teach kids; they really love all sorts of things, such making art with broken plates and stringing beads to make mom a necklace.

They are most likely not going to grow up becoming artists or goldsmiths.

And even if they do, and even buy art, that system hasn’t stopped the reality for starving artists. It’s nothing to take comfort from considering how many decades it has been happening, and it hasn’t gotten better.

But journalism loves to pats itself on the shoulder. If they stopped telling people how essential they were and how wonderful, and instead worked on improving their industry, I wouldn’t be writing about its problems. It wouldn’t be necessary.

People who truly love journalism are not going to cheerlead it into oblivion. They will be, people like me, who scream and yell, warning those in the profession that they are way off based and headed straight for a cliff.

People who didn’t love the profession praised them for doing so.

And we see what happened.

The industry imploded.

We see the destruction of titans such as Newsweek: had they been a more vigilant property, they could have spared themselves this trouble.

Journalists gush about their profession the way a mother gushes over her children’s baby pictures: she is going to gush about those little people who look just like her. She can see all the wonderful things…but for everyone else not related to her precious child, it’s just another everyday, mundane kid who are loud, messy, rude, and clumsy. 

It has been long past due for the profession to stop praising themselves and take a long hard look at what went wrong.

They won’t. That’s why an alternative is needed: one where the first instinct when things go wrong is not to pat oneself on the back and count blessings while trying to explain away failures as victories — but to look realistically to make the changes required to grow and evolve into something better than it was before.

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