Friday, September 12, 2008

Media passive voice

An iron-clad rule of American media: Never, never, ever take responsibility for your impact on the coverage that you yourselves do:

Sen. Joe Biden faces a paradox: He offers the most unfiltered contact with the media of any of the big four. But he's the least likely to be covered.
Rachel Streitfeld at least "analyzes" the symptoms of the media's headlong rush to provide 24-hour Sarah Network News. What she doesn't do is any real analysis of why. Maybe it would be too depressing:
  • Entertainment values predominate in all spheres of media. This means that a pretty woman who doesn't have the depth to recognize "Bush Doctrine" gets more coverage than an older man who happens to have heavyweight Senate experience.
  • The excitement of the chase is the most important thrill factor of journalists.
  • Journalists care more about hype and being seen than anything else. Well, many of them, especially those on TV.
Most reporters started out wanting to report news. But most of them now report gossip, illustrate it, and call it news. And then they go and drink together and congratulate themselves about how tough-minded they are.

Or at least that's what it looks like. Maybe Streitfeld could make some calls and report a story.

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