Republican Hill, executive branch and private sector communicators of the grey-haired persuasion. Mike’s latest column there now -- http://www.newgopforum.com/ -- focuses on the lack of fact-checking in the
media. Why does that lack exist? Because the goal now is ”get it first.” When Mike and I were journalists the goal was: “First, get it right.”
It’s one more crack in the breakdown of traditional journalism – which existed primarily pre-cable news and pre-Internet, far as I’m concerned. As our culture has moved to immediate gratification, the media moved to 24/7 talking heads presenting their views, and not reporters presenting facts. A sad occurrence to those of us former ink-stained wretches. Instead of having real reporters on air, we have “the best political team on television”!!!!! Or, former political operatives going on TV to make money and get more exposure for their political consulting businesses (and their speaking fees)!!!! We consistently have “breaking news” even though often that news broke hours before and isn’t really breaking anymore!!!!!!
We have more exclamation points too. And those damn crawls along the bottom of the screen that partially block whatever video they are showing.
I went to a book party for a journalist friend last night. Most attendees were of the grey-haired variety because this friend is a “real”reporter, as we’ve come to define some journalists these days (a “real” reporter pretty much is someone
raised in the business pre-1990, at least that’s my definition). Most of those book-party guests aren’t in journalism anymore because they got bought out, or left the business in frustration, or their papers folded. These were the people who focused on who, what, when, where, why, the five W’s of journalism. They focused on verifying their facts, not just jumping into print, or pixels, so they can be first.
In those, let’s call them the “old days,” if you got a fact wrong, it could cost you your job. Today, if you get a fact wrong, it could get you a better-paying job on television, especially if you’re young and attractive (female or male). Or maybe even -- what seems to be the aspiration of too many these days -- a reality show!!!!!
I once had a very successful former politician tell me she was getting a lot of her “news” from watching Jon Stewart and Steve Colbert…on the COMEDY channel!!!!
Folks, that’s COMEDY not news. Then again ... I could be wrong.