The case against the media by the media

NY Magazine has done an in depth feature on why media is failing.

Their analysis is:

  1. News is an business, even if it pretends otherwise
  2. So it doesn’t know how to handle serious issues
  3. Gets addicted to conflict
  4. Loves simple heroes
  5. And simple villains
  6. Reduces complexity to comfortable narratives
  7. And is desperate to be respected, which produces blindness
  8. Journalists are easily bored
  9. Especially by good news
  10. Unfortunately, so are readers, who are hard-wired for panic
  11. Which editors, producers, and publishers know
  12. Journalists are deluded
  13. More cynical than their readers
  14. Rush their work
  15. Believe popular opinion is all that matters
  16. And are completely comfortable cutting deals
  17. And it’s not just in politics
  18. Often journalists think they know the story before they report it
  19. And are no longer protected from market forces
  20. The media is also clueless about its audience (and country)
  21. Which brings to Donald Trump
  22. His campaign was catnip to the partisan outrage machine
  23. And everybody was transfixed by the spectacle
  24. And obsessed with the incredible horse race
  25. Including the public
  26. But gorging on Trump coverage didn’t actually mean coming to terms with him
  27. Later, the journalists who tried harder to call out Trump (by fact-checking him, for instance) weren’t very effective
  28. Not that that is really anything new
  29. Whoever the subject, the press can be cruel
  30. And selective in its cruelty
  31. And things can get very personal
  32. Reporters are obsessed with gaffes
  33. Can be horrible to women, even when they are trying to be kind
  34. They can also be lascivious, when they aren’t being outright lewd
  35. And ruthless in their pursuit of “the get.”
  36. Then, typically, they just move on
  37. And then there’s the problem of “objectivity.”
  38. And “bias,” of course
  39. Plus general media ignorance
  40. And the way media is consumed helps all-out charlatans flourish, too
  41. (Not that these complaints are unprecedented.)
  42. The media’s lost power, and coziness with its subjects, serves the celebrity industrial complex …
  43. … Political operations …
  44. … Big business …
  45. … And start-ups too
  46. Who owns things is a major problem, too, whether it’s a giant corporation …
  47. Or an unsavory individual
  48. Social media rules everything now
  49. And it does enclose everybody in customized-news silos
  50. (Even though, often, those silos are at war with one another.)
  51. And yet it has also reinvigorated things
  52. Particularly by diversifying things
  53. But also by giving people what they want

A very long but interesting read.

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