The Collapse of American Journalism

Reply Sun 4 Jul, 2010 09:28 pm
By Andrew Sullivan

THERE are many reasons for the seemingly unstoppable collapse of much of the mainstream US media, but one seems to have been overlooked.
Many American newspapers have simply become pale, quivering shadows of what they once were. Once, they aggressively scrutinised the powerful and exposed secrets, but they have - with some exceptions - become mouthpieces for the powerful, enablers of propaganda and prim schoolmarms when it comes to telling people what they want to know.
So if anyone wants to get the NYT to use a different word to obfuscate the truth, all they need to do is make enough noise so there is a political dispute about a question. If that happens, the NYT will retreat. So we now know that its core ethos is ceding the meaning of words to others, rather than actually deciding for itself how to call torture torture. Orwell wrote about this in his essay, Politics and the English Language. If newspapers will not defend the English language from the propaganda of governments, who will?

Over time this kind of editorial cowardice gets through to the average reader. She senses she is not reading a truly independent press, eager to offend, sceptical of the powerful and determined not to mince words. And so she looks elsewhere. The editors and producers of American journalism have long wondered why their industry has been in decline. Perhaps they should try looking in the mirror.


Yep, that about sums it up....Once the journalists stop doing their jobs (and claiming that they have been forced by their corporate sponsors will not do) there is no reason for the American people to pay attention to them any more.
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