Is journalism a problem?

In my media issues class we have been discussing the state or journalism and the problems with it today. As a working journalist I see some problems with the current protocol, but don’t see it as a major concern.

Our text book over exaggerates the problems with today’s journalism. I believe that on the national level journalism is flawed and I agree with some of the book’s suggestions for how to fix it. They need to be more investigative. The difference between national and local news coverage is that all the national media outlets cover the same events and issues, but the local outlets cover things specific to their area, so they differ depending on where you are.

It is time the national media start doing things differently. Instead of filing the same story from the Washington Post, NY Times, ABC News and more, let’s have more investigative pieces that differ from station to station and newspaper to newspaper.

I agree with our book’s author that national outlets just report on what they are told by the government and official sources. There needs to be more digging. On the local level, I don’t see this as a big of a problem, except for the fact that the local media organizations are forced to use those same generic reports from national outlets because of resources.

I just don’t see a major problem with the media though. I do recognize that investigative journalism has taken a back seat to deliver desirable content to online viewers. Instead of reporting like we have done for generations, we tend to focus on what is popular and what the online readers want to see. This result in too much crime reporting, less feature stories and as a result there is no time for investigative journalism.

I think once online journalism is mastered, sooner rather than later I hope, then investigative journalism will return.


4 comments so far

  1. corymorrison on

    I agree that the apparent “demise” of journalism is a stretch. I believe that an industry’s success is purely based on the “time, manner, and place” principle. In other words, journalists are doing their job, and yes, natural evolution of how they do that job is going to occur. Could they run more worthwhile stories? Yes. But as long as journalism remains as an education source about issues and news that starts conversations (AKA promotes democracy, one of the fundamental roles of journalism), to say the industry is in the crapper is a stretch.

  2. arush84 on

    Your perspective on this issue Alex is valuable, more so than the average person because of your first-hand experience working within the industry. With that being said, I generally agree with your main points. I have noticed over the years of my news attentiveness, that local news stations are placing too much of their efforts into replaying the same stories far past their run time and/or relying too heavily upon soft news stories. For instance, local news stations seemingly all have cooking segments that highlight recipes. Since when did news stations turn into home ec classes? Clearly things need straightening out as you alluded to in your post. I hope that the industry only relies upon these gimmicky, cheaply produced items during the transitional phase of migrating towards a more sustainable media framework. Furthermore, whatever that framework may be, I hope it is based upon quality that encourages public action.

  3. Shelley Russell on

    I would definitely agree with all of your points outlined in the blog post. In terms of content, you discuss the lack of investigative reporting–leading to the reporting of more popular, less in-depth stories. I would also add that newspapers (either print or online), are not catering enough to the younger generations). As time goes on, the print-edition generations will dwindle and news organizations will be faced with younger generations. But are these generations interested in the news? Why or why not?
    For me, I would often get discouraged when I first began reading the paper because there was no summary of the backstory. I didn’t really get into the content because I didn’t understand it. I think bullet points outlining the facts of the story in a simple way are achievable online.
    I am curious to see how newspapers will cater towards younger generations–including their online presence.

  4. will squires on

    good article. i don’t think that journalism is a struggling industry the way that many people work out. The amount of debate over the issue shows how journalism is working, it inspires a response.

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