Role Of Journalism In Society Essays
Media companies that want to get bigger tend to swallow up other media companies, suppressing competition and taking on debt, which makes publishers cowards.
There’s no shortage of amazing journalists at work, clear-eyed and courageous, broad-minded and brilliant, and no end of fascinating innovation in matters of form, especially in visual storytelling. “The newspaper is not a missionary or a charitable institution, but a business that collects and publishes news which the people want and are willing to buy,” one Missouri editor said in 1892.“When you read your daily paper, are you reading facts or propaganda?” Upton Sinclair asked on the jacket of “The Brass Check,” in 1919.The view of the new journalism held by people like my father escaped Halberstam’s notice.In 1969, Nixon’s Vice-President, Spiro Agnew, delivered a speech drafted by the Nixon aide Pat Buchanan accusing the press of liberal bias.In the nineteen-eighties and nineties, as Christopher B.Daly reports in “Covering America: A Narrative History of the Nation’s Journalism,” “the big kept getting bigger.” Conglomeration can be good for business, but it has generally been bad for journalism.The wood-panelled tailgate of the 1972 Oldsmobile station wagon dangled open like a broken jaw, making a wobbly bench on which four kids could sit, eight legs swinging. “I wouldn’t weep about a shoe factory or a branch-line railroad shutting down,” Heywood Broun, the founder of the American Newspaper Guild, said when the New York went out of business, in 1931.Every Sunday morning, long before dawn, we’d get yanked out of bed to stuff the car’s way-back with stacks of twine-tied newspapers, clamber onto the tailgate, cut the twine with my mother’s sewing scissors, and ride around town, bouncing along on that bench, while my father shouted out orders from the driver’s seat. “But newspapers are different.” And the bleeding hasn’t stopped.Reporters pledged themselves to “facts, facts, and more facts,” and, as the press got less partisan and more ad-based, newspapers sorted themselves out not by their readers’ political leanings but by their incomes.If you had a lot of money to spend, you read the St. Unsurprisingly, critics soon began writing big books, usually indictments, about the relationship between business and journalism.