Thursday, May 22, 2014
Every year colleges and universities turn out Journalism majors. It's a pity. They might a well be turning out Phrenologists, alchemists or practitioners of some other pseudo discipline.
There are darn few practicing journalists left in a America today, and none are working in main stream media. Those who in reality practice the trade are unpaid, or poorly paid schmucks who work in alternative media.
As Hunter S. Thompson once said, “We are in Bat Country now.”
Indeed we are. It's a surreal land, the land of the free, home of the brave . . . and the NSA. No wonder he blew his own brains out.
Shame really. He was one of the last of the widely published journalists in America, and only because he was a clown. Gonzo, if you will. Kings once kept jesters. Only they could tell the truth about and to the king. Hunter was a prancing jester, so he could tell the truth. It might not have been real, but it was the truth.
The field of Journalism gasped and died around 1982. on a personal note, in the interest of full disclosure, I received my Journalism degree in 1999 at the ripe old age of 39. The beauty of going back to college at 35 is that you are what you are. The college system can do little but round out a few rough edges . . . and sometimes there's beer.
Fortunately, I knew back in the 90s that the field was dead. That doesn't mean it's study was useless. The skills are worth the price, but only if you don't try and work professionally. The formal study of Journalism provides the serious student with a foolproof bullshit detector. Too bad there is no call for such skills.
Media is controlled by a handful of giant corporations. Nothing that threatens the status quo can ever be published. The last thing one is allowed to do is to actually practice their art. Soon they learn what stories get published and which are career limiting. They are like doctors are paid well, but only as long as they don't cure anybody. No wonder alcoholism is rampant in their ranks.
We are in bat country now.