September 25, 2007
Hinterland Diary: reporting, predicting blurredJohn Stoehr
The attrition of authority? . . .
Mainstream media's need to speculate about the future also reflects insecurity about its shrinking role in society. With so many of us gathering information from more sources than ever before, the big news organizations have lost the ritualistic claim on our attention they enjoyed when virtually everyone tuned in to one of three major networks and Walter Cronkite intoned, "That's the way it is."
Posted by John Stoehr at September 25, 2007 1:02 PM
Thanks for an interesting link, John. I'd disagree that mainstream broadcast news has passively seen audience share shrink. It has committed suicide by slashing newsgathering staffs and budgets, and now newspapers are following the same path. The broadcasters dig up less real news, and so must jabber, opine and speculate to fill the maw, especially on 24-hour cable, because talk, after all, is cheap, while ferreting out the needle in a haystack authoritative source willing to criticize a misguided or nonexistent invasion plan for what it is is extremely difficult. The public listens to the hot air and thinks that this is what journalism is -- a bunch of pompous know-it-alls bloviating, then coming back to do it again ad infinitem even when their record as seers is provably miserable.
Posted by: Mike Boehm at September 27, 2007 8:27 PM