A pair of articles from Columbia Journalism Review show just how clueless the profession is.
This is an industry that has divided itself on partisan lines, and by doing so, corrupting the product beyond repair. If you are a chronicler of reality, then you cannot be driven by ideology. You are in search of facts.
If CJR was a legitimate journalism publication, this divide would be something they would examine very carefully.
But this isn’t what is happening. They are actively joining in the partisan games.
The first article revolves around Right-leaning Sinclair Broadcasting Group, and their demand for a ideologically monolithic machine.
This is being made to sound as if this was a recent problem only plaguing Right-wing media owners, but that would be wrong. Most media owners skew their products in the same direction, whether it be print or broadcast. It’s not just in terms of ideology, but even layout. In Canada, for instance, looking at newspaper properties owned by Postmedia shows they are identical in style, presentation, stories, angles, and even headers. They print stories from each other, and the political bent is the same for them all.
Media outlets are treated the same way as motels — one Holiday Inn is the same as the others.
It doesn’t matter what former employees here have to say — we need to widen the circle and take a look at past and present employees in other outlets as well to see what kind of mindset brought down the profession. Sinclair is no better or worse than others, regardless of political leaning. They are a mere microcosm for a bigger issue that brought down journalism.
It is that manipulative confirmation bias preventing a true analysis.
The second article is about the Denver Post’s temper tantrum, and how it shows “a crisis in American journalism.”
You were in a crisis twenty years ago. Your profession is now destroyed.
But the beginning of the piece is a real melodramatic hoot:
“THE BIGGEST CRISIS IN JOURNALISM is not Donald Trump’s attacks on The Washington Post and The New York Times,” Times Editor Dean Baquet said Sunday on CNN. Rather, he argues, it’s “the decline of local newspapers.”
Nowhere is that crisis more apparent than in Denver, where the city’s lone daily paper published an extraordinary package of pieces showing the newsroom in open revolt against its owners. Taking aim at Alden Global Capital, the New York-based hedge fund that owns the paper, the Post published an editorial stating, “If Alden isn’t willing to do good journalism here, it should sell the Post to owners who will.”
Children, there are no owners willing to do any journalism because it is a dead profession.
And really, who is going to want to buy a newspaper with employees who speak ill of their employers? They could buy it, but then they would have to let go of every employee, but you are not worth the risk.
But with both articles, notice that journalists are the blameless damsels in distress, while the owners of both outlets are being cast as the villains. They are not blameless, but neither are journalists. No innocents in this penny dreadful.
Journalism should have had its awakening a long time ago, but they kept their eyes closed shut, and now are feeling the pain of their willful ignorance. They offer themselves no guidance, and that’s why you have drivel such as CJR giving no insightful, and hence, no solutions…