From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
The institutions that we identify as mainstream media today have failed the public in their primary responsibility to bring hard factual information untainted by political persuasion. In their zeal to support their personal and/or their organization's political viewpoint they have lost the cynical edge and integrity required to be the hard-edged sentinel, the Fourth Estate, that protects the citizenry from the overreach and abuse of an extremist or corrupt government. When a mysterious, politician with no significant resume arises from near obscurity to become a candidate for the most important political leadership position on the globe, one would expect the true, honest, and appropriately skeptical journalist to intensely investigate the who's, where's, what's and how's of what makes that man tick and how he came to be where he is rather than just succumb to the boosterism impulse. We already have a mainstream media that is philosophically and politically out of synch with mainstream American values and political beliefs. Any suggestion that government should step in to financially assist or bail out certain failing media entities just screams "CONFLICT OF INTEREST" in bright pulsating capital letters and insures that the public will lose ANY modicum of trust that the media may have retained. Those journalists who are failing are doing so because they have lost their belief in this exceptional country and the average American knows it. Any attempt by government to use taxpayers money to support media institutions that the public is losing faith in, regardless of political leanings, will be viewed as the subtle, but unmistakable, beginning of a government-controlled press. Separation of Press and State is much more important to the survival and welfare of this Republic than is the separation of Church and State.