Brian Fuller's blog on the media, marketing and content creation

Does news matter? Let’s hope so-Part 3

Posted on | January 25, 2008 | No Comments

Kerri Hicks jumped on the Does News Matter chatter. She has reprised a great post—just what exactly is a journalist today?—in a comment. Must read. Great example.

“You 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.”

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. He’s responding to David Simon’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 Kerri’s point: where will enterprising journalism come from? News is what’s happening. That’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 they’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 that’s a leaky life raft to grab on to right now.

I have a (conspiracy) theory. And I’m probably decades late on this. The fear-driven, consumerist society that we live in is now controlled by advertising (the message behind Washington’s taxpayer bailout is not “save;” it’s “get your ass to the mall right now.”) 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:

“NO 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?”

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No Responses to “Does news matter? Let’s hope so-Part 3”

  1. Loring Wirbel
    January 25th, 2008 @ 5:23 pm

    Yeah, the conspiracy theory (not) really IS decades late, it’s been an inherent part of transnational corporate capitalism since consumerism went hyper in the 1950s. Good cop, bad cop routine. Good cop shows all the pretty consumer goods, tells us this is what freedom of choice really means, bad cop sends more offers of credit to 15-year-olds, turns everyone into shopping-slaves, then squeezes slowly. Control of journalism is merely one arm of the octopus. Read Adbusters magazine regularly, all will become clear.

  2. Greeley's Ghost
    January 25th, 2008 @ 6:09 pm

    If i read AdBusters regularly I’ve eventually be institutionalized!

  3. Loring Wirbel
    January 25th, 2008 @ 6:32 pm

    How do you think I got to where I am today?

  4. Lou Covey
    January 25th, 2008 @ 7:54 pm

    I once had a history professor (tenured) who had a a great way of getting a class to pay attention. He would start to ignore an part of the class that was goofing off and concentrate only on those who were actually interested and engaged until he would be sitting in front of one or two students quietly discussing the subject until the rest of the class realized they were being ignored. By the end of the first week, people stopped goofing off.
    Maybe it’s time that the media just started ignoring companies that don’t support the medium. Maybe even ignore the ones that bitch about it the most. If corporations stopped getting any positive or neutral press; if their PR people could not get a member of the press to even return calls, it might get their attention.
    There has got to be something newsworthy out there that doesn’t involve a big corporation.

  5. matt
    January 28th, 2008 @ 1:21 am

    To add one more thought train, look at this review of the roots of the American free press by Steve Boriss, a professor at Washington University of St. Louis. many points, he reminds us that “unbiased” journalism has a relatively short history.
    Matt Schmidt

  6. Loring Wirbel
    January 28th, 2008 @ 8:31 am

    Yeah, and for anyone who thinks the nastiness began in the Spanish-American War, check out the national newspapers for the Federalist and Republican parties in the 1796 and 1800 elections. They were calling members of the opposing party filthy traitors who should be taken out and shot at dawn. Sure, we have Ann Coulter nowadays, but few newspaper editorials call for murdering members of the other party.

  7. Anonymous
    July 31st, 2008 @ 1:15 am

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  8. Anonymous
    July 31st, 2008 @ 1:16 am

    专业的翻译公司,译佰深圳翻译公司,广州翻译公司,上海翻译公司,东莞翻译公司国内同声翻译(同声传译)领域领头军!同声传译(同传)是国际会议通常使用的翻译方式, 翻译人员进入隔音间里,通过耳机接听发言人的声音再将其翻译给听众。这种形式的翻译方式需要较为复杂的设备以及非常专业的翻译人员,但能节省大量的时间。优质翻译公司译佰翻译公司能提供同传深圳英语翻译 ,深圳日语翻译,深圳法语翻译,深圳德语翻译,深圳俄语翻译,深圳韩语翻译等数种同传语言,培养一批商务口译人员,多年以来,译佰同声翻译在同声传译(同传)领域积累了丰富的业务经验,能提供从专业同声翻译、译员培训到同传设备安装租售业务等一整套国际会议同传服务深圳翻译。

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