‘”The American public used to gather before the electronic hearth every evening”,’ Ted Koppel said in a commentary on journalism’s decline, according to an article in April’s Atlantic Monthly.
The article starts in a way that made me think its author, James Fallows, is going to burst into literary tears about the demise of yesteryear’s journalism. Then, not too far in, Fallows seems to accept journalism’s changes, including what he calls ‘infotainment.’
The Internet may have all but killed print newspapers, but it’s also caused them to be (I would think) more widely read. Now we can obtain information momentarily via mobile, blogs, emails, and even by simply refreshing our iPad pages. Therefore I think journalism has expanded. It has expanded in all forms. There may indeed be more infotainment than ever before, yet there is also more serious (credible) news than ever before.
The more I read The Atlantic lately the more I wonder if it’s this magazine which has dampened its progressive stance, or if it’s I who’s outgrown it. The magazine did recently, after all, publish a piece by Edward Glaeser, a shining example of capitalist fundamentalism and quashing the voices of denizens.
Lighten up, accept change, and evolve. Remaining suspended in homeostasis makes one curmudgeonly and conservative. Then again, I must admit to wanting that every news source to be beautifully liberal as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow or Harper’s magazine or to mitigate reportage on bonehead megalomaniacs such as Donald Trump or Sarah Palin.
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