Ahh, journalism. If you've ever wondered why the corrupt elements of our political system continue to thrive, and Wall Street and Big Business continue to rape our economy, one need to look no further than the current state of journalism for the answer. Historically, Americans have depended on journalists, the press, to uncover and expose the wrongdoings in society, especially the big picture stuff that affects our daily lives. But as journalism has moved more and more away from serious reporting to become an amalgam of entertainment and a for-profit business, Americans are frequently left in the lurch.
For a perfect example of the sorry state of modern journalism, look at this week's coverage of the Japan earthquake. The quake is a big story, no doubt, but before the big Pacific shake, the protests in Wisconsin were the most important story in the U.S. CNN, Fox News and MSNBC were telling us that the Wisconsin story was going to have longterm, rippling effects in American society. The Wisconsin governor undid 50 years of social/workers' progress. That is a big deal. But the minute the quake happened, the Wisconsin story simply disappeared. One, now, has to look diligently to find any coverage of it whatsoever on television news. Tens of thousands of ordinary citizens showed up at the Wisconsin State House yesterday to continue the protest, yet, according to the mainstream t.v. journalists, the only thing that was going on in the world was the Japan earthquake.
Simply put, is it asking too much that modern journalists can cover more than one story at a time? Or do they simply flit from one story to the next, whichever one they think will garner the highest ratings? People, this has to change. If we can't depend on the press to cover the most important stories in our lives, and continue to cover them even when they're no longer "sexy", then we're all screwed.