We are living in a new golden age of journalism!
At least, that’s what the media want you to think. With Donald Trump’s Presidency in full swing, the media who fawned over Obama more than young girls fawned over One Direction are now back in full watchdog mode, tracking down every detail of any story that might put the President in a bad light. With the New York Times and Washington Post playing a game of Liar’s Poker over the number of anonymous sources they can put into a story, it might be time for us to take a closer look at journalism.
What the Left believes it means – the reporting of indisputable facts
What it really means – the reporting of thoughts, feelings, and agendas where the facts may be sketchy
As you might have guessed, my opinion of today’s journalists is lower than a snake’s belt buckle. That’s not without cause, however. In my younger days, I studied journalism in college. Everything was going along great (especially when it comes to racking up student loan debt) until I took a class where the final project was to analyze the media coverage of an event and write a report on it. Since it was still fresh in my mind, I chose the Rodney King beating. That one project changed my mind about the journalism profession because I saw how the media manipulated the footage and how they reported the incident to create a narrative. I completed my degree and swore never to go into the journalism profession.
As disheartening as that was, watching the profession I once loved go into being the steno pool of the DNC was worse, but it made me aware of the little things they do to nudge news consumers in a certain direction, as well as the overt things they do to shape opinion. Since my college days, this trend has only gotten worse.
Today’s journalists are all gunning to be the next Woodward and Bernstein (if they even know who they were in the first place), and with news cycles shrinking to a period that is somewhere between a New York minute and the blink of an eye, the drive to be first with a story is greater than ever. And with attention spans shrinking in line with the news cycle, the drive to grab attention with a story is greater than ever. Put those two elements together and you have the current state of journalism: fast and sloppy.
But to hear the Left tell the story, today’s journalists are real heroes worthy of praise. Some have gone so far as to say they’re superheroes on par with firefighters. Yeah, but I wouldn’t want to see a reporter from the New York Times try to put out a tire fire. In fact, given the current ownership, they might try to buy it and put it on the editorial staff (or endorse it for President…oh, wait, they already endorsed Hillary Clinton. Nevermind!)
The image of the heroic reporter is a nice fantasy, but the reality is most reporters in the mainstream media are merely PR agents for a person, ideology, or cause, and actual reporting is rarer than the way Dracula likes his steaks. Anymore, bloggers and vloggers are doing the work reporters used to do, which has the mainstream journalists up in arms. I mean, how dare they actually dig into stories instead of letting the trained professionals determine what stories are important? After all, they went to school to learn how to ignore important stories that don’t follow their ideological mindset!
The thing is we’re seeing people like you and me looking into stories the big guys won’t touch or poking holes in the stories they do touch. In that way, journalism is experiencing a new golden age because it’s no longer being done by a select few, and it’s being done better than the professionals are doing it. Maybe that’s why the professionals feel they can dismiss bloggers and vloggers; they’re threatened by the new kids on the block.
Of course, it doesn’t help matters when the professionals play more favorites than a wedding DJ while simultaneously pretending they don’t. The mainstream media have become more lapdogs than attack dogs, and they don’t see a problem with that as long as their ox doesn’t get gored in the process. The funny thing is bloggers and vloggers wouldn’t have so much sway over people if the mainstream media actually practiced their trade the way it should be: with balance for all and malice towards none.
Until the media start going old school with journalism, any claims of a new golden age are only going to find pyrite.