Funny thing, back in my college days, (mid 90s) my college had programs in television and journalism. As a student in the journalism program, I never shared a class with anyone in the television major. They were "newscasters" but not journalists. Imagine that. I suppose television journalists are out there, but I haven't met any.
Main Stream Media has tied the hands of journalists. Lets just say that coverage that's bad for business is very limited indeed. Most media outlets in the US are controlled by just a handful of companies. Worse yet, those companies all pretty much have the same motivations and goals. It's kinda hard to think outside the box when almost all information comes from within the box. Can't think about something you don't know about.
The Internet has allowed access to raw data, news right from the street, so to speak. It also has plenty of biased opinion, lies, misrepresentation, misinterpretation, shallow investigation, and even just poorly put together product. The wise Internet news consumer is aware of these limitations. He develops skills to dig deeper and an eye for the truth.
The raw amateur nature of much Internet news alerts the public to the fact they need to take everything with a grain of salt. That's good. Everything from Main Stream Media should also be viewed the same way, but the slickness of the production can lull the news consumer into a false sense of security. Back in the day, Walter Cronkite was "the most trusted man in America." His delivery of the evening news always had the ring of truth and the weight of authority. However, the man himself warned against accepting everything he said as the truth.
Who's got the freest media in the world right now? Probably Tunisia. What? Think about it. Tunisian media was an arm of the state -tightly controlled. Now, those controls are gone. Since they were not really commercial stations, they don't even have to answer to the business interests of advertisers. Right outside there doors is a huge story, and by golly they are covering it.
Most journalists really want to do their job. They are sick of the compromises. Soon they learn what stories will get published and which will limit their careers. In spite of that, many never lose the idealism that caused them to become journalists in the first place. For once in their lives, they want to tell big stories, reveal dark secrets, and get to the truth of things. They want to really matter.
I'm guessing journalists, as things get more unsettled out there, will feel strong internal pressure to get the story out. Those stories will come out. Even bubble headed TV "news personalities" may succumb to the temptation.
Stay tuned. It could get interesting out there.
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