Counterculture Con HQ

April 13, 2010


Helen Thomas Laments Impending End of Old Media’s Information Monopoly

The ability of non-credentialed citizen-journalists to report the news for themselves can potentially put an end to media gatekeepers who consistently side with the liberal left. For her part, Thomas has vehemently denied any liberal bent in the White House Press Corps, despite tremendous evidence to the contrary.

Thomas lamented a loss in “accountability,” but who keeps Old Media accountable? She specifically targeted bloggers, saying,

They can ruin lives, reputations, and once you send something into the air, it’s going to land, and there’s nothing that can curb them from saying anything they want. Everybody with a laptop thinks they’re a journalist, and everybody with a cellphone thinks they’re a photographer.

And all those with printing presses and Columbia journalism degrees think they are entitled to a monopoly on information.

Sorry Helen, but according to the Pew Research Center only 29 percent of Americans believe that the press generally gets its facts straight. Only 26 percent believe the press is politically objective. An institution with such abysmal standing in the eyes of the public cannot credibly claim to be satisfying an indispensable social and political need.

Of course, 70 percent also think journalists try to cover up their mistakes, so Thomas’s denial is predictable.

If anything, new media journalists must hold themselves to a higher standard if they wish to be successful. In general, they must start from a state of obscurity and build relationships with an audience. They are not granted an air of legitimacy simply by their existence.


Poll Finds Pessimism Among Print and Broadcast Journalists

Most newspaper and broadcast news editors think American journalism is in decline, and about half believe that their employers will go out of business if they do not find new sources of revenue, according to a survey to be released on Monday.

In an era of shrinking newsrooms, 58 percent of the editors said journalism was headed in the wrong direction. Sixty-two percent said the Internet had changed the profession’s fundamental values, with most citing a loosening of standards.

Broadcast executives were slightly more hopeful than their print counterparts about their employers’ financial futures, but broadcasters took a significantly darker view of what is happening to the quality of journalism.


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