Are journalists just bloggers?By
While working overseas, the Internet is my connection with America and my primary source for news but it seems like any more, journalists seem to be just bloggers with unearned credibility. Wait, my apologies are due the few real journalists remaining out there. I should use the term “news writers” for the others since they are more like story writers. There are still a few real journalists out there, but a disturbingly huge number of those supposedly reporting the news are really not. They present opinions, like this blogger, but I am clearly presenting my point of view, not stating anything as objective fact and using a byline from a supposedly reputable news agency to lend credence to a slanted piece of agenda driven drivel.
I am old enough to remember when you picked up a newspaper and actually read it for an entire Sunday morning, or, in the evening after work. You read it and digested meaning. You expected good reporting and factual writing with good editor oversight and, yes, even editorial control so the story was fact checked and the grammar was proper. There were news sections and an Op/Ed section. The news was clearly news, the opinions and editorials were in a separate section under a clearly stated heading and were clearly what they were indicated as being.
Now, frequently, a headline promises news, but the writer delivers an opinion to support their political agenda, and with so many hack writers out there competing to attract hits from visitors (it seems in the Internet age we are no longer considered readers) there seems to be little concern for delivering news that an educated and seasoned adult can use and more for attracting young, more easily influenced (not to mention saleable) visitors. I think that may be the key difference between pre-Internet journalism and now. At one time, journalists were considered accomplished if they could present the facts in a way that would keep a reader reading. Now, it is more about getting the highest number of hits on the news agency website. That can be most efficiently done by writing sensationalized stories that will excite a desired demographic group to each forward the article to their hundreds of “friends” on the social networking sites so the friends will bounce over for a moment and be counted as a website hit. As I understand it, the more hits, not necessarily the quality of the traffic, the higher the price for ad space so advertisers cough up their highest advertising dollars to market to visitors whether they actually stay for more than a few seconds or not.
I would appreciate some points of view from others, especially some journalists (and even news writers) and welcome dissenting points of view. I believe that real journalism could be one of the most important professions in the world and wields great power. I think, for our collective sake we need to get objectivity back in news reporting and save the opinions and agendas for the Op/Ed section.