The Golden Age of Journalism: Going…Going…Gone? Actually, there never was a Golden Age. But it’s ok. Eric Burns, author of All the News Unfit to Print, a catalog of journalistic misdeeds dating back to the American Revolution, said in a recent interview with On The Media:
There never was a golden age. From the very beginnings of journalism we’ve had people who, because of ideological bias, who, because of laziness, who, because of a lack of respect for the profession, did not care enough about their story to make sure that it was accurate.
One of the reasons that the republic is not imperiled by irresponsible journalism is that we have had such an explosion in journalistic outlets – yes, we’re losing newspapers but we’re certainly gaining on the Internet â€“ that irresponsible journalism is going to be detected today more easily than it ever was before.
So we have two things going in contrary directions at once. Because we have so many journalistic outlets, the odds are greater that we’ll have erroneous coverage. Because we have so many journalistic outlets, the odds are greater that some of that coverage will point out the errors in some of the other coverage.
In this age of news business carnage, democracy in the United States of America will continue on just fine. Let beached whales die. Let healthy ones prosper. And cultivate a species of better, stronger ones.
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