How to lose faith in journalism, and how to get some of it back

Exhibit A:

There is an unnerving change on the newly retooled, flashier CNN webpage: on the homepage, the EDUCATION section has been replaced by FUNNY NEWS. Education news is not accessible from the front page; you have to search for it.

This is a stark example of “infotainment” trumping crucial kitchen-table issues in mass media. Reports on the far-reaching effects on America’s families of the sweeping No Child Left Behind legislation may not make headlines as snazzy as “27-foot wiener gets cop roasted,” but they actually matter.

Exhibit B (Okay, not actually journalism, but disgusting nonetheless. Bolding is mine):

Work hard, take risks, maybe build your own business. That’s the traditional route to financial success. Of course, there’s another highly traditional path to acquiring wealth that isn’t talked about quite as much these days: Marry money.

Real money. As in not a mere millionaire (a dime a dozen these days) but an honest-to-goodness billionaire – make that 10 figures after the dollar sign, please.

True, it’s not politically correct to go hunting for a marital meal ticket (or for that matter, to write about it). But just for a moment imagine the life that could be yours if you did.

Forget the fabulous baubles, designer clothing, cutting-edge electronics and palatial mansions that your golden goose – uh, spouse – might heap upon you.

Consider the more pragmatic bonuses of the good life. No more scrimping and scraping to make your annual Roth IRA contribution. No more working until you drop to ensure a comfortable retirement. And no more worries about where your children will get into college (or how to pay for it).

A seven-figure donation from your beloved to the school of your choice and your kids are in the door, even if they’re no smarter than grapefruit.

Now, a breath of fresh air:

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12 thoughts on “How to lose faith in journalism, and how to get some of it back

  1. Brian

    yeah seems like a set up to me, i mean, think about, the entire time she’s like, “i’m not doing this story,” it’s just fodder for the guys in the room to give her grief and keep the focus on paris hilton; it’s even better coverage than the story she tried to burn. Also producers would never allow something like this to happen if they didn’t want it to, live or not. I think it’s just contrived to make it look like journalists actually have have a personal say in this day and age, when they just do what they are told to do. Also think about the kinds of people they are going after, the female journalist is supposed to represent people (producers are thinking women) who are fed up with paris hilton’s coverage, and then the guys are just representing any guy who would be like, who cares she’s hot. So they’ve carefully constructed the two sides to appeal to probably the two largest demographics, in their mind, that are watching. They know how most people will react to anything, and that’s how they choose what to show. They present something, and say, what side are you on? Creating dichotomous binaries, when in fact the entire system, is flawed, so it’s really a null point. I’m not mad, or glad that paris hilton gets all her coverage, getting mad still encourages that fact that it’s something anyone should be talking or thinking much about. What I am mad about is how the media constructs itself, and controls people. It’s really pretty scary when you think about it. It’s all about creating the illusion of choice when there is none. Furthermore, this footage also almost seems like an attempt on the producers part to legitimize what they call “the real news,” namely politics, another system that is entirely about constructing images and telling people what they want to hear.

  2. Brian

    yeah seems like a set up to me, i mean, think about, the entire time she’s like, “i’m not doing this story,” it’s just fodder for the guys in the room to give her grief and keep the focus on paris hilton; it’s even better coverage than the story she tried to burn. Also producers would never allow something like this to happen if they didn’t want it to, live or not. I think it’s just contrived to make it look like journalists actually have have a personal say in this day and age, when they just do what they are told to do. Also think about the kinds of people they are going after, the female journalist is supposed to represent people (producers are thinking women) who are fed up with paris hilton’s coverage, and then the guys are just representing any guy who would be like, who cares she’s hot. So they’ve carefully constructed the two sides to appeal to probably the two largest demographics, in their mind, that are watching. They know how most people will react to anything, and that’s how they choose what to show. They present something, and say, what side are you on? Creating dichotomous binaries, when in fact the entire system, is flawed, so it’s really a null point. I’m not mad, or glad that paris hilton gets all her coverage, getting mad still encourages that fact that it’s something anyone should be talking or thinking much about. What I am mad about is how the media constructs itself, and controls people. It’s really pretty scary when you think about it. It’s all about creating the illusion of choice when there is none.

    Furthermore, this footage also almost seems like an attempt on the producers part to legitimize what they call “the real news,” namely politics, another system that is entirely about constructing images and telling people what they want to hear.

  3. Anonymous

    um. . . not to be uber cynical, but does anyone else just think this was a hoax? it’s one thing if she protests reading the story, it’s another if a professional jounalist tries to *set things on fire* on the set. . . i dunno.

  4. Anonymous

    um. . . not to be uber cynical, but does anyone else just think this was a hoax? it’s one thing if she protests reading the story, it’s another if a professional jounalist tries to *set things on fire* on the set. . . i dunno.

  5. Anonymous

    her facial expression when they cut back to her after the paris footage was priceless

  6. Anonymous

    her facial expression when they cut back to her after the paris footage was priceless

  7. Anonymous

    Those guys are obnoxious. Calling Mika a “journalist” as if it’s derogatory.

  8. Ryan

    Oh my god, that was amazing. Someone in the news standing up for the news. I hope she still has a job though.

  9. Ryan

    Oh my god, that was amazing. Someone in the news standing up for the news. I hope she still has a job though.

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