Friday, January 14, 2005

'Structural Changes' You Say

The question of media credibility made for some welcome discussion on last night's Lehrer News Hour. The featured pundits of punditry were the New Yorker's Ken Auletta; President of the Pew Research Center Andrew Kohut; and media analysts Michael Massing and Nancy Maynard. Here are some of the highlights:
Media usually gets it wrong
Kohut: When we first started our People in the Press series, we asked people . . . Does the media usually get the facts straight, or do they often get it wrong? And we found, I think we have a slide on this, we found 55 percent then saying that media usually gets the story right. . . over the years, that number has gotten lower and lower. And at this point in time, we have a majority of people saying the media usually gets it wrong, and only 36 percent saying the media usually gets it -- the facts straight.

Reporters have become bloviators
Auletta: . . . if you watch, say cable television, you see reporters moving out of their normal job as reporters to become what I would call bloviators, and so what you have is people watching them and saying, wait a second, they're not reporters, they're just expressing opinions, so how can I trust them?

They are perceived as an elite
Massing: I think the fact that the media are an elite -- that they are a very - a group of reporters, as Ken Auletta is saying, they - now they bloviate, they seem like they're very self-important, and they're not getting out I think enough into the country. This election, I think, came as a huge blow to the media's credibility, as well. They were taken tremendously by surprise, and I've really been surprised at how thin the analysis since then is. . . I really think the media have got to deal with this issue that they are perceived as an elite. That's not just a political charge. I think that that is a problem that is structural that needs to be contended with.
Is it me, or is the conversation about structural changes to the media system finally crossing over into the mainstream?


Anonymous said...

The situation has to get truly heinous for changes to occur. Public perception of mainstream news has hit a a new low, indeed, but it might get even worse. And in many ways, structural changes are ocurring of their own accord. Notice the exploding blogger phenomenon, which emerged in 2004 as a major force in media. Everthing now is in flux, whch isn't a bad thing.

trac, georgia

Anonymous said...

Yes people are starting to figure out that the corporate media system is problematic.

I think that although blogs, and independent media are great, we must get the general public to notice them. Most people don't have the energy, time, or interest to search for good news coverage - so if they are going read blogs it will be those posted by corporate news outlets.

We need to work together to build a system that is accessable to the public - one that they don't have to search for.

its underway -
-This is exactly what we need - a "Portal to Independent News"

Steve J. said...

Auletta got it wrong. The whores on cable are popular precisely because they have a strong conservative/Republican bias and are willing to lie and distort to support the Administration. Freepers love this BS and they think it's all true. Auletta is out of touch.

Steve J. said...

Massing trots out the usual crap about the "elite media." Someone should accuse him of trying to incite class warfare! :-)

I WANT the media to be elite: I want them to be intelligent, objective and knowledgable. I don't want wankers like Russert or Hannity.