dimanche, février 24, 2013

Niche thinking: the future of American journalism?

Before the common era, say those who don't like the term "before Christ.'

Understandably so. Not everyone believes there WAS a Christ, let alone that they should set their clocks by whether he lived or was resurrected.

Well, maybe we could call this era of journalism (if one can call all of it journalism) -- A.C.E.

After the Common Era.

I was wondering, yesterday, when the deterioration began. When did we "evolve" into a national peanut gallery?

Can we point out a time when opinions began to wrest the greater stage from objectivity?

Was there one year, or a decade, when writing tilted from an analysis of covert bias, the use of a few allusive words in an article, to the ruckus of a literary dogfight or the glitter of knives as a Shark or a Jet drew scarlet?

There have always been subtle ways in which a reporter could signal a certain lack of objectivity. As I've said before -- watch the kicker quote or the last graf to see how someone really feels (unless they are trying to switch it up).

And there have always been partisans. Just look at eighteenth-century American journalism.

Perhaps we idolize the Murrows and the Brinkleys, even the Brokaws, for qualities that they did not, in truth possess.

But they tried.

Now my Twitter feed is littered with examples of advocacy, ranging from right to left -- and they, at least in the "safety" of the Internet, appear to want mutually assured destruction...

Slash, burn...SCORE!

Cheap shots. Cheap points. Cheap victories.

I'm not saying that some of my advocacy pals don't have a point -- or points.  There is plenty of prejudice to go around.

But the people I really respect are still the ones trying to report the news -- not bend it, twist it, or fry it according to the prevailing political winds.

I like my reporting straight, or as straight as is possible.

Sometimes I claw my way through the caverns of the Internet, where one link leads deeper into another, feeling as though I've been in a mine -- covered with someone else's dirt.

I go back -- there's a certain fascination with watching one train wreck after another.

But I still emerge, night after night, feeling slimed.

Aucun commentaire: