You Claim to Think the News Is Important - I Don't Believe You

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In some ways, this is a very good time for the news media. Sure, almost nobody is turning a particular profit, and sure most of those companies that do make money share virtually none of it with writers and content creators, but media's fortunes are looking up in one respect: importance. Never before has the public been more acutely or more vocally aware of the importance of a strong news media, of sober and insightful probing into government, society, and the world. Yet this understanding has brought with it derision for the fact that the modern news media is incapable of truly meeting those goals. These days, the western world is dominated by people who actually believe that the decay of the fourth estate is anyone's fault but their own.

There's a self-serving use of recursive chicken-egg logic on this issue, the rather incoherent argument that lowered standards in reporting both cause and are caused by lowered revenue. This ignores the fact that journalism tanked economically due to technological progress, not declining consumer satisfaction -- lowering quality no doubt enhanced the effect and hastened the decline of the newspaper, but this is not some post-modern quandary lost to the sands of time. Journalism has been struck a series of mortal blows by technology and consumer attitudes, and we are all just watching it die, apathetic, standing with folded arms. This is near-suicidal stubbornness based on fuzzy, or entirely absent, thinking.