From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age? #544505-03355

Submission Number:
Patrick McNamara
Initiative Name:
From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
Dear Sirs: Perhaps you may have overlooked the fact that numerous, "journalistic," sources are doing quite well while others are self destructing. The rather obvious difference between these two groups seems to come down to one issue -accuracy. News sources which do not report accurate news but instead either misinform or merely act as a conduit for political propaganda are dying off as they should. Our local newspaper appears to act as a megaphone for its' owner/publisher, whose political views and societal ideas are at odds with the majority of its' customers and potential customers. Why would anyone buy a newspaper or listen to a TV news program which is obviously biased, obviously lost perspective, obviously lying, or has sunk to the level of the gutter:e.g. the "news stories" about former Governor Palin's daughter's child and whether the Governor actually bore the child. These actions placed terrible emotional pressure on a teenage girl and were designed to harm her and her family. Then we had to endure the lengthy "news" issue of whether then candidate Obama's middle name could be included in reports about him despite the fact that when he announced his candidacy for President, he chose to use his middle name The list of examples of opinion masqueraded as "news," outright lies (see NYT under Jayson Blair et al), the never ending list of apocalyptic stories (think year 2000 computer glitch) and ridiculous errors due to lack of any knowledge of science or history (look up WW II oil tankers torpedoed off US coast and resulting oil "spill) by "college educated" journalists is overwhelming. Most revealing is to ask students going into journalism why they are doing so. Their answers can be paraphrased almost uniformly as, "To change the world." Not report the news mind you. Scientists, engineers, and sometimes even novelists can make changes in the world by actually doing or creating something. Journalist seem to want to selectively inform or misinform us to manipulate political change and then call the result, "change." Talk about self deception! If journalists and news sources wish to be successful and stay in business, they must either entertain and call it that, or accurately and completely inform - "The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." Any government action to assist the current crop of "news sources" which are failing would be akin to trying to keep the doors open of a butcher shop that sells spoilt meat. Perhaps you will be comforted by the certainty of good press for your actions -payback, however that would be yet another problem bad journalism contributes to, corrupt and incompetent politicians and government bureaucracies.