Sep 14 2009

Old Media Rotting Out On Hubris To Extinction

I have noticed that the old media (every outlet shocked by the combined wisdom that comes crashing out of the electronic media and electronic public square) has been screwing up and self destructing for years. As one of those strange creatures who brought home the Mosaic Browser to play with (first browser, only site on the internet), I have watched (and worked with) the internet change the way information flows, the way topics are debated (both in lofty and crude terms) and the way public consensus is formed or changed.

It now happens outside the news media, which is a culture shock for those who used to be able to shape opinion by filtering information, emphasizing what they preferred and basically keeping the nation in the dark to all the true data. But now that their stranglehold on information flow and which ‘opinions’ will be provided along with the data to shape the public perception, the media should have realized a wise and tapped in nation will not suffer continued pranks in the new media.

But instead of facing reality of the millions of experienced and bright minds flowing data and ideas through the internet, the journalist majors are trying to prove they are still smarter than experts, visionaries, historic figures, up and comers, and just plain smart people in the myriad of businesses and specialties that make this country great. I work with NASA and the DoD on space programs, I have siblings in the judicial system and law enforcement, my mother was in education (as are half my wife’s aunts it seems). All of them know their business beyond anything I could hope to know, but to a journalism major in a dying news media outlet all these people are too dumb to do their jobs right and need guidance.

Which brings me to this great post by Ed Driscoll on what caused the demise of the old news media:

On Twitter, Virginia Postrel writes:

Per @Romenesko, Washpo lost $143 million through the first six months of this year” Which means they lose $1.10 PER COPY. Yikes.”

Yikes indeed. So why is this happening? Yes, there are certainly key technological changes that are driving the Red Queen’s Race. But, as John Nolte writes at Big Hollywood, “T’was Accountability That Led the Mainstream Media to Suicide”:

Mainstream news outlets have been caught off guard before, but they used to play catch up. Today they play “hide the ball.” For as long as I’ve been politically aware the media’s been biased, but willfully ignoring a major national news story at great cost to their credibility and relevance is a new low. So what changed?

This gave the Fourth Estate two options.  They could either: A) Clean up their act and do their jobs honorably … or B) Surrender their fig leafs of objectivity and run amok as the ideologues they really are.

Doing their jobs honorably would mean a setback for the Leftist cause, and so they chose B.

The quality of ‘news’ is pathetic right now. I tried to watch the news on Sunday, and the pitiful outrage expressed over Rep Joe Wilson not buying the BS our young President was tossing out (and yes, your health care will not only be at this reduced price, but we will throw in a set of kitchen knives at no extra cost!) that I had to turn it all off. It was pathetic.

The federal government produces tons of information which proves the falsehoods spewed in DC to the poor dumb masses. But do these wannabes in the news media take the time to analyze the data and produce something provocative? Nope. They hide the data they don’t like (for Obamacare look here and Obamanomics look here) and exaggerate the few threads they can find beyond reality, with an insane arrogance that the combined wisdom and expertise of the masses won’t catch the hat trick.

It is no wonder people are turning away from the biased and immature product of the old media. If they had realized there is a role in disseminating information and solid sources, and then reporting on the reactions and evolving conclusions arising out of the electronic brain of the nation, they would not be dying. But that would require them acknowledging they are not experts in anything but possibly communication (and there are some questions to that claim).

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Old Media Rotting Out On Hubris To Extinction”

  1. Mike M. says:

    Mosaic? Good grief, that brings back some memories. Used it myself back in the mid-’90s.

    And yes, the old Propaganda Press has finally met its Nemesis. And not a second too soon, either.

  2. WWS says:

    poll: news media credibility hits new low

    “Nearly two-thirds of Americans think the news stories they read, hear and watch are frequently inaccurate, according to a poll released Sunday by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. That marks the highest level of skepticism recorded since 1985, when this study of public perceptions of the media was first done.”

    but the best part was the explanation offered by Bill Keller, executive editor of The New York Times.

    “The great flood that goes under the heading `news media’ has been poisoned by junk blogs, gossip sheets, shout radio and cable-TV partisans that don’t deserve to be trusted,” Keller told The Associated Press in an e-mail.”

    the appropriate reply:

    because expressing how dumb that was in words just doesn’t work.

  3. Rick C says:

    Rick Santelli was “on” this morning. Among other things he was asked if he had a bad weekend. He said “yes, the people in Washington do not reflect the attitudes of the people that put them there. But, that will change”.

    Then, he was asked it he was in Washington this weekend. He said “I watch network news. I didn’t hear about it”

    It looks like GE forgot to put the muzzle on this morning.

    Rick Caird

  4. crosspatch says:

    A major part of the problem of the papers’ demise is AP and Reuters.

    Imagine you want to set up a center or center-right paper. Where do you get copy? You can’t afford to hire and insure reporters to go around the world where the news is being made. A paper relies on the wire services for copy from outside its own region.

    You aren’t going to get national and international stories that don’t have the leftist bent. There just isn’t anyone producing them. And while you could contract with people like Yon and Totten to write some stories for you, that only goes so far. Bloggers are basically analysis, not hard news reporters. You don’t find too many bloggers pounding the halls of the Congress or on Air Force One with the press corps.

    It could start in an “Army of Davids” way with people who actually have an education and some experience in journalism getting out there and digging for stories. It takes years to build a reputation for a paper and for the people involved. It takes years for a new wire service to be built out.

    The problem with the newspapers is that they are all in lockstep reporting exactly the same copy and there is no source of alternative copy. Maybe some entrepreneurial type should approach something like a Hillsdale College that has a journalism school and hire their grads. Hire from people coming out of the military.

    Maybe get with papers like The Washington Examiner and try to build a different copy sharing wire service or something. But it is practically impossible for anyone to build a newspaper these days with any decent coverage except from a leftist point of view of national and international news.

    Center and center-right papers globally should cooperate and share content. I believe people would flock to it.