Is it possible we are getting more critical of the media?

January 23, 2008

One of my main reasons for blogging, and a major focus the presentations I do at conferences, is about the media landscape and why it can be so damaging. It is a core part of my mission to try to get people to be more critical of media coverage by understanding the business dynamics behind media’s imperative to build audiences. And to help them understand that simply accepting what is reported as reflective of the way things really can have serious consequences.

I must say I haven’t seen a lot of progress in increasing scrutiny of and criticism of the media and how they are, in my opinion, continuing to devolve as a result of the vicious competition with new media. Today, there were two articles in Bulldog reporter that caught my eye and give me a little reason to hope.

One, is the response of cable viewers to CNNs attempt to create a tempest in a teapot over race and gender in the Democratic presidential race. Here is the article that talks about the backlash of viewers.

The other tells about Howell Raines, fired from his job as editor at New York Times following the Jayson Blair scandal, and his new role as media critic. Funny to read about how his former colleagues responded to his criticism of them after he left. Of course, they may be right that he was a terrible boss, but the  interesting thing to me is having someone who once was a true insider at the highest levels now looking at the business of news coverage from a critical (and I hope viewer) perspective. I will look for his comments with interest.


4 Responses to “Is it possible we are getting more critical of the media?”

  1. Gerald, thanks for noting these two provocative articles. Please note that they appeared in Bulldog Reporter’s Daily ‘Dog, one of many publications issued and events produced under the venerable Bulldog Reporter brand. Best regards,
    Jim Sinkinson
    Publisher, Bulldog Reporter

  2. Robert K. Lanier Says:

    Gerald…what is also interesting is the media’s coverage of the Democratic debate sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus. As an American-black man I was appalled that the media reports did not focus on the topics that were discussed during the debate. Rather, they solely focused on the mud-slinging between Obama and Clinton. I watched the debate and there were some great forensic-style discussions on the issues that affect the American-black community. But if you watched most local evening news and some national (including 24-hour news networks), you would have thought there was no civil dialog among the two candidates…and no dialog at all from Edwards. If the media top-brass were smart, they would fire all of their anchors and hire Jerry Springer. Might as well, they are headed in that direction anyway.

  3. gbaron Says:

    Great comment about Jerry Springer as the anchor they all want. The problem of course is they are looking at the ratings meters to make their judgment and therefore they won’t fire these guys for this kind of decision making–instead they just might take your suggestion and hire Springer!

  4. gbaron Says:

    Jim–sorry I missed giving that attribution. I usually note that and intended to. Great job on Bulldog–much fodder for my blog!

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