I like to think God created me to do journalism.
Why do I like to think that?
Because it’s pretty much all I’ve done throughout my adult life, and I’d hate to think I’ve been wasting my time.
But, when I had a recent health scare, it got me to wondering.
Is journalism dead? Have I, indeed, been wasting my time?
It’s not all about me, of course. I’m looking at the bigger picture. I’m seeing what’s happening in the world of journalism. With hundreds of thousands more bloggers and commentators, analysts and opinion-ators seemingly springing forth, does anyone even appreciate real journalism anymore?
Just look at how many days it took for a super-solid, weighty piece of investigative excellence like the Miami Herald series on that Jeffrey Epstein kiddie sex fiend to be read. It still hasn’t really caught fire with most Americans. Most are too busy falling for month-old click bait.
It’s not that there aren’t enough playing in the journalism world. It’s just that they are all desperately, wistfully seeking Google-Facebook approbation – and there’s not enough of it to go around.
For every story written and published somewhere on the internet, there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of other copycat stories written. There’s so much plagiarism, nobody notices anymore; nobody cares anymore.
There’s little discernment by news consumers about quality. And, how could there be? There’s just too much junk news out there – which may be a greater danger than fake news.
I don’t know what’s worse, 24-hour cable news or internet news.
Now consider this: Up until a few years ago, there was nothing I considered more meaningful and fun in my life than journalism – whether it was creating it or watching it. More recently, I have the feeling I am not seeing anything new, nothing I haven’t seen before, like there’s nothing new under the sun.
Must every story have a political agenda?
Are there no more good human-interest stories to be told anymore?
Is any news organization ever again going to devote the resources and time to a muckraking investigative series if it’s going to be here today and gone tomorrow?
Is it just about hearing ourselves talk to each other on TV?
Is it Google and Facebook who have ruined everything?
Why have we allowed them to become the “new gatekeepers”? Why have we allowed them to stifle voices of dissent? Why have we allowed them to kill freedom of speech? Why have we allowed them to make a mockery of freedom of the press? Why have we allowed them to program us in such a way so that we cannot think for ourselves anymore – in fact, so that we do not even realize that we cannot think for ourselves anymore.
Maybe I’m just having a bad day.
But I think journalism is dead.
Why is it dead? Maybe because there are no more true believers – not enough anyway.
What is a true believer when it comes to journalism?
- It’s someone who believes the central role of a free press in a free society is serving as a watchdog on government and other powerful institutions.
- It’s someone who personifies fairness, fearlessness, credibility, independence and indomitability of spirit.
- It’s someone who understands only a nation informed by a free press is capable of being a healthy self-governing society.
- It’s not just individuals who believe in those things. It’s also institutions that believe.
So, what do you think?
Is journalism dead?
Is there any hope for resurrection?