Skip to comments.Why Broadcast Journalism is Unnecessary and Illegitimate
Posted on 09/14/2001 7:02:19 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion
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(Thanks for the ping -- however, even before I did a self-search, as soon as I saw the title of this thread I stopped in...)
The points are all good. And there's so much more that could be said.
Most people have no idea what goes on even in Journalism 101. Kids, aspiring newhounds, are taught that "objectivity" is impossible. Kids are taught that rather than _trying_ to be objective, the reasonable thing to do is to choose a point-of-view and deal with it. (I heard a journalist on talk radio just yesterday discussing this point.)
Also, there are serious political problems with journalism in the modern world.
The Constitution provides means for impeaching an elected politician. But our culture provides NO MECHANISM AT ALL for removing journalists who prove themselve to be scum.
(The media is controlled by businessmen and businesswomen -- (you know, the exact same way the libertarians what _ALL_ culture to be configured) and as far as the business folk are concerned, if a journalist is fulfilling _some_ purpose -- advocating an agenda, gathering info, implementing leverage -- then that journalist is going to stay around regardless of how many people hate him or her. Heck, in demographic talk, _hate_ is a _good thing_ because it translates into high "Q"...)
Remember, it was Frank Zappa who wrote the couplet: "Journalism's kind of scary/And of it we should be wary" Mark W.
That is where conservatives have long been stuck, but when you consider that journalism is provably not unbiased, under the Constitution the FCC does not have the right to allow the broadcasting of journalism. The FCC and its licensees can be sued and forced by SCotUS to desist (provided that the Administration will enforce SCotUS's ruling, something I wouldn't bet a nickel on had Gore been named president as SCoFl attempted to assure.
I am proposing a way that our society actually could and should impeach broadcast journalism en masse.
So true. TV journalism is entertainment, not truth. It was not until the Internet that I had any inkling of what the truth was. God bless America, the Internet and FreeRepublic.com.
You don't literally have to, it's true. But the demagogery of broadcast journalism, in and of itself, constitutes the sort of bad news which constrains people to watch in horrified fascination.
I've got news for you, man: "aspiring newshounds" aren't taught that "objectivity" is impossible---they know it already. This is so obvious I'm surprised you made the statement. If 100 people witnessed the exact same car crash, you'd get 100 stories about it that were completely different. The facts may be roughly the same, but each take would be different. That's the angle. Angle = objectivity.
Absolute objectivity is absolutely impossible, and even it it were possible, it would make for an incredibly boring, milquetoast piece that wasn't worth writing, reading, taping, or broadcasting. Objectivity is the angle, the passion, that each writer or broadcaster brings to his subject. News coverage is flat and meaningless without objectivity.
The mistake you make is to assume that objectivity is possible or even desirable. Every newspaper, radio station, or television station has a voice. Up until very recently, this was a given: Democrats read one paper, Republicans another, and each paper's readership was well aware of its particular slant. The same holds true today, only that in a move to increase market share, news outlets bill themselves as "objective" news sources when they're not. They're lying to your face. I'll say it again---there's no such thing as an objective news source---there never was one, nor should there ever be one. You're a sucker if you think there is. It's your mission as a consumer to filter the objectivity and get the real news. You can read more than one paper or watch more than one news program.
The problem today is that most people who make the editorial decisions and do the hiring in major media outlets are leftists---the '60s relics and their ideological children, and that's no rhetorical bullshit (I've seen it first-hand). They only hire people like themselves. Writers, reporters, etc. with political views right of socialist have very little opportunity for employment, let alone for getting their "objective" takes read or heard.
I'm one class away from earning an MA in journalism at a Massachusetts university. I know all about J-school.
Wholeheartedly agree with your whole reply. I would question the timing of the switch from frank opinion to faux objectivity; it seems to trace back to the 1830s when first the high speed press created the opportunity to mass-market. The editorial page serves the function of "positioning" the rest of the paper as being objective. Before high-speed printing, the editorial page was pretty much the whole paper, in my belief.
Tell me something I don't know.
I've made this analogy before, so this will be the condensed version:
Imagine you are a Native American 150 years ago. Imagine you complain to your tribe that the locomotives are making it possible for the Europeans to spread _their_ civilization west and _replace_ your civilization. And imagine one of your own tribe said, "Hey, buddy, if you don't like trains, just don't buy tickets and don't ride on them..."
Do you see my point? We can all choose to "not watch" -- journalists or the media in general. But we _know_ that the vast majority of people are going to be watching this garbage and it will be influencing their thinking/actions. Just as locomotives were the enabling technology (one of them) that made it possible for Europeans to replace the Indians, now media is the enabling technology (one of them) that is making it possible for our civilization to be replaced.
Problems don't go away just because we close our eyes. (I wish they did, but they don't.) Mark W.
Yeah right. As if that were ever the case.
As for my own hometown paper (the Boston Globe), the blame lies at Tom Winship's feet.
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