Thursday, May 24, 2012

The sorry state of the media

Daniel Greenfield posts another essay that says so much so well. Just one excerpt:
The media is an echo chamber for people who work in the media. Its greatest reach is internal, within the complex of people who live or work in a few major cities within the publishing and broadcasting industries. Beyond them is a great void of purple mountains that they occasionally report on but have lost contact with.
I often think about the changes I've seen in news biz in my lifetime. 

It wasn't much more than a generation ago that many in the media rose through the ranks. It was still a journeyman type profession. You might have had a college degree, or were just short of one, when you took that first news gig at a radio station or small newspaper. Some even got their start right out of high school or the military. Once you took the job, you were schooled on the job by an editor or some other old-school mentor. Reporting was a grassroots experience.

Now those on camera and those behind the scenes are more akin to an elitist collective. They boast advanced degrees from the most desirable J-schools, often 'rounded out' by summers abroad or studying under media fellowships in foreign countries.

The media no longer seems to dig to unearth the truth. It acts as if it already knows the truth, and just needs new stories to convey its preexisting notions to you. But at the same time, this truth can't go too far afield from the audience's preconceived conceptions. So much of what's now delivered as news is chosen because research shows it's simply what the audience wants to see or hear. The idea being, feed 'em what they want, and the audience will keep watching or reading.  It's hardly seems a path to enlightenment.

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