Wednesday, March 08, 2006
On Media Irresponsibility In General
Thanks to the Instapundit, this well-written and well-thought-out post by The Opinionated Bastard (emphasis added):
I want to be able to read the New York Times or watch CNN, or listen to NPR and be able to trust what they're telling me. Since I can't do that, since the media is no longer fulfilling their basic function, I have to blog, and I have to read blogs. It pisses me off, because I had better things to do this decade than be my own news service.Bingo.
I don't like having to read transcripts of press conferences because I can't trust the media to even write down what was said correctly. I don't like having to spend hours finding real experts on the web to analyze how this or that media expert has distorted the facts. I don't like having to pore through the blogs of journalists, soldiers and Iraqi citizens so I can get some inkling of how things are really going, without the hype. Even though I do it, I don't even like having to download the Brookings report once/month in order to see what the numbers say about how the war is going.
But I have to do all that, because its the only way I can truly be an informed citizen.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that most of all, I blame the media for being incompetent.
Whenever the Mainstream Media complains about blogs and bloggers, in capacity, I want to remind them: technology made blogging possible, but they made blogging necessary. If the newspapers, networks, magazines, and news radio stations were providing reliable news coverage, we wouldn't need alternate sources.
The sad fact is that we do... and the mainstream media doesn't seem willing to do anything about it.
On the flip side, though, I have to say that what's bad for the newspapers, in this case, is good for America. The newspapers certainly don't want every news-savvy American to go searching for their news, tracking down multiple sources, and so forth; they don't want us Americans "spoiled" to the extent that we expect a link to every pertinent fact, so that we can check the sources ourselves.
But the mainstream media is making that necessary... and the result is not only a better-informed America, but one that is less willing to take a charlatan's word for anything. And an America less willing to listen to snake-oil salesmen, as far as I'm concerned, is a fine thing indeed.