Has modern media lost its old ways?

 

Contributor Opinion.

 

It seems when we look into the past, that journalism was significantly better before than it is now. Even though, news stations in the 70’s generated less revenue as compared to stations now, they had many more bureaus worldwide, specially  when the editorial side was in control of the news desk. They also conducted more investigations and were tougher with the government or so it seemed.

After having the privilege to individually chat with a few good old journalist, they all agree, that the decline of the Media is due to the business side taking control of the editorial. But the corruption has taken a bigger leap on mainstream television broadcast, than on print, or radio. Even though,  a few critics disagree.   

From The Daily Journalist perspective, few networks produce good and solid investigations outside of their basic reports, undermining other ‘swept aside’ but more important issues that should be reported and are not.

In fact, national news networks (not local) seem to have a mechanical and circular bondage between Media-Business-Government which has strengthened over the years with worrisome doubts that surround their “close partnerships and interest.” One could say without almost no opposition that the Media, unlike in the past, “sleeps” with its investors and government watchdogs giving them special treatment. Hiding even perhaps important news due to outside pressure and financial punishment if published!

Obviously, understanding the problem above, Social Media ‘not’ classic Media has become an alternative tool for the public to get better and even more extensive insight on stories reported,  but not investigated leaving a worrisome amount of doubts! And more than ever before, everyday people use Social Media as a medium to expose alternative news that the Media is not reporting, (but should), due to a somehow decline of serious investigations which has created lots of conspiracy theories.   

But in your view, what is the difference between journalism now as compared to the journalism in the past? Do you agree or disagree most media networks are in decadence? Is the Media in bed with the government and other institutions that support it? Is Social Media: Youtube….the alternative route for many to expose, what the media fails to report? What is the future of the media and should it look to the past to find itself?

 

 

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Hossein Amiri.

What is the difference of reporting now as compared to the journalism in the past?

The difference is the equipment journalists have today that they didn’t have in the past. And the other difference is easier access to information. Today Journalist can get a lot of useful information from the office they are working via internet or social networks, but in they past they were not able.

Do you agree or disagree most media networks are in decadence?

At least the case is true for newspapers. Today people prefer to get the news from cyber media and from satellite channels.

Is the Media in bed with the government and other institutions that support it?

Unfortunately, this is the biggest problem for media today. The biggest problem comes from financial resources that they need. While they were handled in the past with little money, today they require more financial resources.

Is Social Media: Youtube….the alternative route for many to expose, what the media fails to report?

Some how, but their reputation is not as much as official Media and there is also a new phenomenon named citizens journalist.

What is the future of the media and should it look to the past to find itself?

No Idea.”

 

 

Claude Nougat.

“Great question, and a hard one to answer beyond my own personal point of view. Over the years (since the 1960s) I’ve been a faithful reader of the International Herald Tribune (particularly since the late 1970s when I started to live in Italy) which, as everyone knows, is the New York Times’ sister publication in Europe.

It is in fact quite different from the NYT and has its own team that contributes remarkable articles about Europe – politics and mores – and I can vouch for the excellence of the articles regarding Italy since I live there and follow local news – which by the way are often compliant with what the parties want. Italian newspapers are unbelievably politicized and have always been.

And that is my main point: the idea that journalism was more independent 40 or 50 years ago is a lovely idea but it is probably delusional. The past always looks better. We all think of the Washington Post, the Watergate scandal and the unraveling of an American President, the first in History.

But look at that episode another way (and I remember very well that is how it all struck us): it was so UNUSUAL that two reporters from a major newspaper managed to discover so much dirt coming from so high up (I mean the White House). Yes, that’s my point: it struck us all as highly unusual and remarkable.

Because the run-of-the-mill press was not that way, not at all. Journalists tended to toe the line that was given to them by the powers-at-be. Nothing unusual in this. It’s human nature. To have the courage to step out and tell the truth is something few people have…

And I’m not so sure that Social Media on Internet is the answer. I see a lot of self-serving articles and posts – we’ve fallen into the age of the “sponsored articles” that mixes fresh news and reporting with publicity for a given product or a celebrity.

So was the past so much better? I doubt it. Is SM on Internet the answer? Maybe. You tell me!”

 

 

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Sokari Ekine. 

“It is difficult to say and I am presuming this question refers to US MSM  for which I have no measure.

Nonetheless, I think first we have to separate print media that is now online and new online media with no print history and TV.   Old news media like the Guardian,  Reuters and US giants, the NYT and Washington Post still continue to engage in investigated journalism whilst at the same time are both constrained by financial cost of a declining print readership and having to rethink their media strategies.  Still its a chicken / egg situation, the more investigate journalism they engage in sure the higher their readership?

My understanding is that like most things, media today is driven by business needs but it is  the TV networks where the real corruption and decadence takes place.  Al Jazeera is one of the few media giants that successfully incorporates, TV and online media, social media etc as well as produces great news programmes – and I am not saying they are without bias, but far less partizan  than the rest of the MSM channels and I am happy they are finally  able to broadcast in the US beyond the north east.    Personally this is the only news channel I can bear to watch, the rest are so shamelessly partizan, uninformed and sensational in their presentation.

Social media, Twitter and blogs, do provide additional news and insight from the commons plus they can call out MSM when they are wrong or misrepresenting.  However they only have the capacity for very local investigative work though this is generally   of a very high standard.

I would like to see more local online news and community TV/Radio because it is here that we as people can truly engage in democratic processes.  It would be great to see networks of local citizen led media reporting on their respective communities in the US and Europe like those reporting on Global Voices [globalvoicesonline.org].

 

 

Catherine Haig.

Catherine Haig.

“Media has changed distinctly in the years past. Before we had Brinkley’s, Cronkite, Jennings, so many others that were legitimate journalists. Today we have Huffington Post and Yahoo full of kids with degrees in art history, philosophy, SEO Marketing…even Arianna Huffington is NOT a journalist yet she is co-owner and visible in the world of media. People actually listen to the “DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART” to get their news even though it’s billed as a comedy show.

Bill Mahr’s REALTIME on HBO is considered a news source and he’s also a comic. Even free newspapers in NYC like METRO which is better written than AM NY which is written by illiterate former employees from the NY Post – I don’t really know for sure so this isn’t a fact, merely an opinion. Sometimes reading the Huffington Post hurts my head and eyes so much I have to look elsewhere. CNN, MSNBC, FOX, CBS NEWS, CURRENT which is now AL JAZEERA all make me sick.

Recently Middle East “expert” Christine Amonpour gave her “expert” opinion on a show while crying and carrying on about how the USA should bomb Syria because of the “genocide” that is going on between rebels and the government. She sounded like a raving maniac but she is an “expert” and no one disagreed at least allowing her to rant for a bit which went viral.

The internet is at fault for much of the crap news that is going on in our world today. Anyone with an internet connection and an opinion can log on and spout their crap for all to argue with. Gone are the real news tellers – now we have story tellers who spin their lies so that we can bang our heads against the wall screaming for the truth.

Even TV show 60 MINS has gone to the dogs. With the admission of our Federal Gov with regards to “spying that NSA is performing on Americans” I doubt that the Feds have these media types in their pocket. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is the other way around. The “CI’s (confidential informers) are in our government and the storytellers are media after stories, soundbites, video and capturing a Pulitzer.

Bloggers, of which I am one, commit themselves to following hot stories and writing about them – writing their own opinions about them. I am so guilty of this but it’s a blog so that’s the excuse. However people like THE DRUDGE REPORT, DAILY BEAST, PEREZ HILTON have made their Opinions extremely lucrative. Money talks and bs walks. Every time a so called JOURNALIST opens their mouth today I look at the DAILY JOURNALIST, ROUTERS and/or other fact/sourced base online newspapers for the real news.

Each of these “media” outlets and this includes THE YOUNG TURKS (whom I believe are a total joke as an informational source) twist the news to fit their agenda. The news of the past is also questionable to me because as a kid growing up how do I really know half of what they told us on TV back then was the truth? We don’t know and never will.

Media then and today is like a game of telephone; by the end of the game the story has a new headline and a completely different content depending on who is telling the story. It’s also like a game of “who saw the same accident?”  5 people can see an accident but the cop may well get 5 different stories on the same incident because all five of those people saw the accident at different angles.”

 

 

Eric Tham.

“The advent of blogs / social media adds a new dimension to journalism. In the context of Singapore, the government recently passed a law that requires ‘qualified’ websites to be registered with a bond $50k to ensure compliance.

This raised initial ire amongst the internet community and the many websites. In my view, social media has diluted the influence of traditional media. Bloggers can now express their views ‘much easier’.

 

 

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George Bailey. 

“Some of my primary research is based on the Kennedy assassination.  The media of that time is similar today–a marriage between cooperate interests and the government.

As former CIA William Colby told Congress, “The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media.”  The internet, social media, and some select talk radio shows, have been a great boon to getting real news out.  However, we must be leery of proposed government safeguards.

The mainstream press went from being our watchdog to a lapdog.  We must be vigilant not to follow that path and keep all avenues for real news reporting and research open.”

 

 

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Ann Dillard.

“In my observances and opinion, earlier on we had a clear and purer intent for journalism. Journalism was once what held government, businesses and people accountable. As stations and networks grew in popularity and competition, it became more about attracting viewers. And as the general population has been dumbed down, the reporting became more about what would attract them than the truth. As it is progressing today, the owners of these entities have become guided by their agenda and truth has been completely lost.

It became about how sensational it could be to attract viewers then as the government and those with agenda realized the power of the media, it has become a place to push the agenda of the backers and owners of the networks and if they are in league with the government agenda then that is what they push and anything contrary is lost or covered up.

We have no journalism today. It is all orchestrated for agenda. The owners of the MSM are in league with the Progressive agenda and that is what is pushed. They are protecting the Obama Regime from being exposed for what it is. It’s all about their bottom line and real journalism has been lost.

We do not have freedom of the press any longer. We have no journalism. We only have talking heads reading agenda and propaganda so that they can keep their jobs. It’s become all ‘talkshow’ … people like Oprah were a big part of this change. Masses turned to these shows instead of the news. With the realization of her popularity and influence others changed to be more like this. Oprah promoted her agenda and it worked.  Media is like a circus show. Everything is hidden by the man in the tent behind the show…

Obama is a media creation. They cover up his past and anything that goes against the agenda.  The power of the media has been seen clearly by the election of the fraud.

One must find alternate ways to see past the media  cover ups and lies.

Are there any who are brave enough to reveal the truth with real journalism? I think if groups could align to do this that there would be a real audience now. Many are seeing what a fraud the news has become and are hungry for the truth instead of the agenda and propaganda.

Journalism died when the greed, duplicity, agenda took over.”

 

 

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Jowan Mahmod.

First of all, the definition of ‘better’ journalism is difficult to explore as the evolution of journalism can be identified as either better or worse depending on what parameters we employ to value journalism. Indeed the character of coverage has changed throughout the past 30-50 years not only with regard to new digital media but also by way of globalisation and more people increasingly crossing national borders.

Journalism may have been more investigative, but it has also been one-way, regulated and ruled by political and national agendas. The pragmatic question within this context is therefore how journalism has changed and what the impacts and implications of this are with regard to nations and societies, citizens, and globalisation.

In this contributing post, I would like to take the question to a meta-level and theorise around the consequences of new digital media vs. traditional media (television, radio, and print).

In his Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, Benedict Anderson explains that imagining nations was possible due to print and broadcasting media. Tools of modernity gave to people, who had never met each other, a shared belief that they belonged together.

When images of a nation go through a gate-keeping process, in which authoritative actors uphold and approve the images that reflect the current political alignments, it gave people, in the same nation, the encouragement to freely participate in the project of that nation’s politics. Modern tools of communication had an important role in the development of national feeling. Anderson thus made print capitalism and broadcast media the central focus for the creation of the imagined community that conceals diversity.

But what happens when the images of a nation – culture, religion, race, gender – do not just cross national boundaries but are articulated in a transnational space by anyone, regardless of authority? This is what is happening in the new digital media as different technologies are changing the way we communicate and interact. Perhaps journalism was more investigative pre-Internet, but it is now synchronous and two-way, and anyone can make their voices heard, as long as it is being censored by authoritarian regimes.

This is a major contributing factor that has made for instance the Arab Spring possible, where people suddenly can share their own stories instead of having journalists describing the world to and for them. Needless to say, journalists still play an important role in terms of sharing stories and images from all around the world in a more analytical manner, but the way in which this happens has changed due to the easy accessible and competing powerful tools such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook etc. Hence, media networks are not necessary in a decline, instead information through the various different technologies without gate-keepers has become more diverse and ‘messier’.

The messiness of information here refers to the explosion of opinions, views, feelings, and contradictions that complicate bureaucracies and ideological state apparatuses. That said, the key question here does not only concern the changing character of journalism and news making, but also how uncontrolled information is being scrutinized by the audience; critical thinking and media literacy are as important to address within these debates regardless of if we are talking about traditional media and journalism or new media and Twitter.

In conclusion: While perceptions of who belongs where are based on an imagined community, nation-states are very real in terms of juridical and social citizenship, but concealed images and speeches have found new transnational spaces where anyone with access can interfere. In the wake of the Arab Spring this was clearly demonstrated when societies on the edge of revolutions relied on speech-acts in Tweets and Facebook posts (and compelling photos using mobile phones). Although the role of social media and online communities in these uprisings is not completely confirmed, this online communication entails acts through words and digital demonstrations and protests, that later echoed internationally with the aid of the wider international community online.

Hence, the changing nature of journalism and news reporting is not merely a question of competing interests and financial aspects, but also politics and national interests. Such kind of observation has not really made any resonance in the debates on journalism, new media, and for instance the Arab Spring. However, these are the directions that new technologies and globalization point to and it would be a serious mistake to ignore these phenomena as they are de facto changing social relations and rules on the ground, especially in the context of journalism, online communications, and nation states.”

 

 

David Merkel

David J. Merkel.

“We overestimate the degree to which journalists were neutral in the past.  There were many cases in the 1800s and early 1900s where the press was biased, and favored the interests of capital, labor, slave-owning, abolish slavery, etc.

We think that things are abnormal today, but they aren’t.  Perhaps what was abnormal was an era where conservatives did not have interests in media, and all of the media was liberal.

But let’s look at this from a different angle, and I will show you an area where things have gotten better: financial journalism.

Financial journalism has gotten much better over the last 20 years.  The journalists are far more savvy about financial concepts.  This applies to both liberals and conservatives.  The criticism is more sharp on both sides, and more intelligent.  This is a good thing, and educates us all far better.

Some of this stems from the farm team at theStreet.com, and all of the places that they go after they learn.  Some of it comes from the intelligent bloggers who write regularly on investing, and the journalists who read them.

Regardless, the quality of the journalism in finance has gotten far better over the last twenty years, and for that, we should be grateful.”

 

 

Jaime Ortega. (Editor) 

The main difference is that journalist in the past had access to more news bureaus all over the world, and reporting in general carried investigations, rather than just plain reporting. A:  Anyone can report and add feelings to any story. B: Many foreign bureaus are now closed because they lack funding.

Local news is the least affected, but the corruption is way more visible in mainstream networks broadcasting national and foreign news. But here a few points below why the decadence has grown larger (it was never perfect).

Students that study journalism today, are hardly trained properly to investigate, and only focus on reporting. Investigation is the talisman of journalism and the forefront of real impact news. But many students never learn the basis of news gathering, data research, and pace tracking […] but only focus on editing tasks and collecting simple sources with no relevance subjective for investigation. Perhaps because its harder to get a good story!

If a student reports about a cafeteria or about a football match, is that equate to investigate government extortion, corporate corruption, intelligence […?] I believe in the 70’s despite other problems, investigation was prime to journalism, but is rarely anymore. Students focus on ‘chip and dale’ stories that have no impact outside of their campus and many are not prepared or qualified to conduct serious investigations. I believe that is a big chunk of the problem, at least in the U.S.. Other countries follow other protocols.

Another red dot blurring the media today as opposed to the past, is that it reports without conducting a thorough investigation on topics of real concern. Actually they conduct investigations on topics of less concern, which have no real relevance and hardly any impact. ( I am not talking about war coverage)

A television anchor is ‘not’ by definition a journalist, he is a reporter. And the media tends to mix that anchors, reporters, paparazzi’s follow the same category as journalist! Which tends to make the public sphere confused about who is who in the media world. Reporters only memorize, analyze and report stories, journalist on the other hand, report, research and should know how to investigate.

That brings us to the next point. The real media decline has not affected print media that much, but actually, broadcast and radio networks have significantly seen a worrisome downgrade in conducting serious reporting. Specially broadcast , which has caused a lot of harm to the ‘general media’, and I am personally concerned that it has given rise to conspiracies in social media outlets like Youtube as a gateway for public distrust.  Now more than ever before, citizens have decided to become self-reporters, out of distrust from broadcast networks that seem to have forgotten how to investigate serious issues. I cannot blame the public sphere for thinking that way, WMD’s anyone? […] ‘cough cough.’

Many mainstream media outlets are in bed with their sponsors, and sponsors have deeply influenced stories which possibly affect close investors, that could and would ruin the reputation of the interest they represent if investigated. That becomes a problem for highly spirited investigative journalist because those who like to report on serious stories might have to run the agenda of the business side instead, arbitrarily violating the integrity of the editorial desk they represent . It happens a lot, and in order to keep your job, sometimes you got to go with the flow and leave good stories wash away.

Bias is another problem. Fox vs MSNBC vs RT vs CNTV vs Aljazeera vs NPR. It just shows that the public sphere is eager to back their own personal ideologies, rather than to investigate wherever is that the truth is pointing within a controversial story or topic. And these channels instead of untangling their personal bias and exposing a 360 view, they feed their loyal viewers what they want, which concludes into more selective bias!  You don’t see that problem as much in print, at least in the U.S..

Story relevance? They’re thousands of stories every day that occur in the U.S.,  (an estimate Avg. of 11,000 stories) but only two make the national stories and one the international headlines. Have you ever wondered, how many stories under the radar don’t get filtered, that might actually be even more important than those selected by the media gatekeepers as headliners? You would be very surprised!

The media is evolved from advertisers in the 1800, to Muckrakers in the 1920’s, to the golden age in the 70’s of exposing government. All had negative issues also. Now, the media has become a conglomerate enterprise that feeds the interest of national and financial interest, infotainment, and single melodramatic murder reports as “real news.” The investigation side, was buried by the business side in the early 90’s.

Expect what we call at the TDJ a “data blackout.” That is the complete disbelief from the public sphere, of the “boy who cried wolf” the third time! If you go to Youtube you will find an amazing rise of media disbelievers. We estimate that more than half of youtube users, believe the Boston Bombings and 9/11 were an inside job; the government is run by a powerful elite of investors like the Trilateral Commission, SSR, Bilderberg Group; The U.S. Criminal Division works with CEO top banks who planned the 2008 financial crisis; Al-Qaeda is an imaginary enemy invented by the U.S.; Haarp is used to control people; Darpa is working to manipulate people […] and the list goes on and on. The media is going to pay someday for not conducting hard investigations, and just basing its reporting in opinions, specially on topics that need serious revision. That would help the skeptic public access more credible answers, as opposed to creating their own imaginary conspiracies.

There is a difference in reporting about a singular murder, and reporting about why the Intelligence Community is building thousands of top secret clearance buildings all over the country, which by the way comes out of tax payer dollars! I want to thank Dana Priest of the Washington Post for that investigation, that would have never seen the light in mainstream broadcast news. Impossible.

 

 

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