Posted on | January 25, 2008 | No Comments
â€œYou can’t know the real story unless you get your ass out of the chair, look people in the eye, and ask the tough questions.â€
Then comes Eric Alterman in The Nation with Wall Street to Daily Papers: Drop Dead. Great headline, but not enough stamina to carry it through the post. Heâ€™s responding to David Simonâ€™s original WaPost essay that got all of our tongues wagging.
Brian Santo has said news is quickly migrating to effective, smart local blogs. Fair enough. But to Kerriâ€™s point: where will enterprising journalism come from? News is whatâ€™s happening. Thatâ€™s easy.
But spending time going after big companies, big people and big problems takes an organization willing to invest in people who will do that. To do it fairly and impartially requires some sponsorship. There are journalism projects afoot that aim to do that, but theyâ€™re few and far between. Does enterprise become the domain of aging, semi-retired and retired journalists who know how and have the time to do it? Maybe, but thatâ€™s a leaky life raft to grab on to right now.
I have a (conspiracy) theory. And Iâ€™m probably decades late on this. The fear-driven, consumerist society that we live in is now controlled by advertising (the message behind Washingtonâ€™s taxpayer bailout is not â€œsave;â€ itâ€™s â€œget your ass to the mall right now.â€) Advertising is controlled by enormous corporations. Those corporations, through the internet, can now speak directly to customers. They therefore can squeeze off traditional media’s oxygen slowly and cut off any vestige of enterprise journalism that could question their policies and practices. Now they could just put a bullet in traditional media’s head, but, as Nixon once said, “That would be wrong.”
As Kerri continues in her comment:
â€œNO ONE does (enterprise journalism) anymore. If you do it in mass market, you lose your advertising, and then you lose your job. If you do it on a blog…well…no one does it on a blog, so who cares?â€