Now Activist Kids are Killing Journalism

STOP IT KIDS:

What a tool.

Let me list, in order, the things that are killing trust in “our profession:”

  1. A 24-hour propaganda network streamed into every doctor’s office in the Midwest telling people that the news is fake and journalists are evil and biased and vaguely terroristic somehow.
  2. One of two major political parties spending the past four decades attacking the free press every time some reporter somewhere pointed out that they were full of shit.
  3. The other political party pretending numbers 1 and 2 didn’t exist, and whining ineffectively about message discipline.
  4. The press pretending numbers 1-3 didn’t exist.
  5. Rapacious corporate ownership that has stripped local communities of their unique voices, from cutting small newspapers down to glorified shoppers to replacing radio news with syndicated hate.
  6. Hedge fund managers loading up big city papers with debt, paying millions to executives and consultants who just happened to be their buds, giving them free reign to do whatever stupid shit they wanted while laying off every reporter who had the misfortune to be spotted actually working.
  7. An entire cottage industry of turns-out-mostly-perverts who parlayed average sourcing and borderline-adequate writing into some kind of legendary “insider” status, plus everyone who lined up to party with said inside perverts, plus everyone who invited them to speak at their colleges.
  8. Politico, Axios, whatever “ideas festival” is asking people to show up on stage with Steve Bannon, and earnest profiles questioning what Nazis want.
  9. Epic whining and defensiveness every time someone — and Isidor Stone forbid it is a young person — happens to mention 1-8 and correctly point out that all of it is crap.

These are the top nine things destroying journalism. A student journo talking about the need to speak truth to power and call bullshit on bullshit is number 697 if you accept that it’s a problem at all, which I for one do not.

There have forever been all kinds of journalism, even before these dastardly internets: Activist publications, advocacy journals, specialty and satire and yes, partisan media. The existence of none of these was a problem so long as they weren’t the only game in town, and if you think the only game in town twas ever self-professed objectivity William Randolph Hearst has a nice war with Spain he’d like to sell you.

Schmuck.

A.

8 thoughts on “Now Activist Kids are Killing Journalism

  1. Jonny scrum-half says:

    Very complete list. As a journalism grad (although not a practicing journalist), I wonder what the journalism schools are doing about any of this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, they’re asking members of the Axios of Evil to lecture to their students and alumni, and dropping reporting and writing courses in favor of “strategic communication,” and holding seminars about Fake News on Facebook. In other words, an endless supply of gasoline for the fire.

      A.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jonathan Hill says:

        Do they even offer courses that include a critique of contemporary journalism – you know, like a “journalism theory” or something like that? My alma mater has a couple classes that could qualify as that, but it seems to me that this might be more important than the “nuts and bolts” classes that make up most of the curriculum.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. zeekduff says:

    Great article, well done! Sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. gratuitous says:

    “Journalism isn’t activism.” Yeah, and neither is stenography. Whatever happened to comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable, Mr. Kraushaar?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. pansypoo says:

    pimping a boob. pimping a war on lies. pimping for ratings. RATINGS ABOVE all else.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ed says:

    Waaaah! Donald Trump is going to take away our freebies.

    Liked by 1 person

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