Jul
01
2009

Infomercials Amok

Paid programming a win-win-lose for owners, marketers and the public

When critics talk about “saving journalism,” the image one gets is of ink-stained toilers bringing important truths into the light of public scrutiny. But this bears little relation to most people’s experience of news media. For one thing, most people get their news from TV, not generally the poster child for journalism worth saving. Certainly, television has brought us many fine news and public affairs programs. But if we are trying to assess the kind of job TV does informing the public, it seems silly not to acknowledge that informing the public is not mainly what it does. What it […]

Jul
01
2009

Building a Better Journalism

Media activists and scholars share their ideas

Extra! asked progressive media activists and scholars to share their ideas on how to make journalism's future better than its present; the following are some of the highlights. The one thing that we should do in the face of the erosion of commercial journalism is invest heavily in libraries. That means we should publicly support the human capital, technological tools, and collections of public, school and university libraries.The problem is not journalism per se. It's the health of the public sphere, of which quality journalism is a major part. So if we accept that the landscape we have grown accustomed […]

Jun
01
2009

Fearing the Future

The corporate press makes the case for being saved

SIDEBARS: Proposed Cure: More of the Disease and Did Google Kill the Newspaper Star? Corporate media are in a state of severe business shock, it seems—layoffs at newspapers large and small, due to advertising revenue drying up and readers ceasing to pay for a printed copy of a newspaper that they can usually read for free online. The state of the press has generated an enormous amount of attention in the press itself, with journalists and pundits offering any number of plans to “save” dying newspapers. Congressional hearings on the state of the media suggest that lawmakers are worried about […]