What fills the vacuum that journalism leaves?

Traditional journalism has a business model problem.  As these institutions die in some form, so does the style of reporting that we have long lauded as "journalism" and what fills it does not even approach fair or balance reporting.

There's no sense wringing your hands over it, it's done.

But maybe it's good in the long run.  Wildly slanted journalism is more effective when its snuck into a media ecology where the reader has been trained to expect that publishers are attempting to balance their coverage.  When they don't, they fool their readers.  The result of so many generations of well-done investigative journalism attempting to eliminate bias in coverage is several generations of Americans that aren't media savvy. 

They don't understand that "balance" doesn't mean interviewing the white supremicist to "get the other point of view".  They don't understand that every person interviewed has an agenda, and that what they say has to be taken in that context. 

Maybe future generations will be more media savvy as a result of learning to trust no type of media.


  1. dl004d on February 27, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Filling the void, Howard Kurtz pointed earlier this month*, are high-priced newsletters and trade publications.

    Rather than write for the general public, which is the target of newspapers, these smaller outfits provide content for niche audiences willing to pay large sums for the information.

    This jumped at me on Wednesday as I read the New York Times online and flipped through the Politico, which is delivered to my desk each morning.

    The New York Times covered President Obama’s call to Congress for a climate change bill not with a staff reporter, but with a syndicated article** published by ClimateWire, one of those aforementioned high-priced newsletters.

    And Politico detailed the lobbying battle over new climate change legislation in a front-page story*** written not by a staff reporter but by someone at the Center for Public Integrity.

    Outsourcing — the future of journalism?

    * http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/10/AR2009021003935.html

    ** http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2009/02/25/25climatewire-emissions-bill-needed-to-save-our-planet–oba-9849.html

    *** http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0209/19255.html