Issa Attacked By New York Times

I think this is as much about the impending collapse of journalism as we know it as it is about an attack on Rep. Issa.

I have friends still in journalism and the refrain is the same: declining revenues have drastically damaged the quality of the product. Copy-editing and proof-reading are hard hit. There are fewer editors and they have less experience and poorer news judgment. You used to have a hard-headed desk editor asking tough questions. How do you know this? Didn’t I read the opposite in our rival paper? Where is your quote from so-and-so about this? Now, not so much. TV news is no different as the newscasts on the “majors” are hurting. Stations apparently are getting rid of writers and editors (some of whom were, despite what you think, pretty conservative and dedicated to strong sourcing) and replaced them with “content providers.” Again, whatever the heck that means.

I am not disputing bias. In fact as the readership sinks for the NYT and other papers they are more likely to reach a narrowing demographic of readership that just wants to hear what they already “know.” The conservative readers of the NYT were in a state on anger for decades and most probably left long ago. Who is left? You can guess.

Fascinating times. When I was a kid the NYT was “it” and where you hoped to wind up as a reporter. The LAT was the unquestioned West Coast destination. Now? Well, it seems to me journalism as a major is losing to “communications” – whatever the heck that is – and the idea of objective journalism is being replaced by “advocacy.”

I suppose you could begin to trace the decline back in the 60’s when you started to have very skilled writers place themselves in the story and ignore the harsh dictates of Inverted Pyramid. From there it was a short step to advocacy and we have more than taken that step as a nation.



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