[249] Post-Journalism

[249] Post-Journalism

Sean Hannity of Fox News, regularly laments, “Journalism is dead.”  And he is pretty much correct.  We now have consistent politicization of the news—current events communicated through the lens of an ideological worldview (something at which Hannity is very savvy), rather than carefully expressed as factually as possible.

There are reasons for this.  One is that news channels go 24-7.  In generations past, major networks had one hour for the evening news, a slot so narrow that the major concern lay in deciding what stories of the many daily possibilities would be covered.  The news outlets of today have the opposite problem—too much time to fill.  When that happens the game changes.  Instead of competing for excellence at keeping the populace properly informed through the careful gathering of facts, it degenerates into a battle for ratings.   Flat, white-bread fact is not very stimulating.  It appeals to the cognitive rather than emotional component, and is hardly very enticing to would-be viewers.  Furthermore, in a polarized nation, presenting a uniform political point of view gives the network the best chance at dominating one or the other of the dichotomous political demographic.

The days of Walter Cronkite, John Chancellor and Tim Russert is past.  They are being replaced with the likes of Sean Hannity, Rachel Maddow, and Brian Williams, pallbearers of what once was journalism.   DC

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