Sunday, February 05, 2006

A Modest Proposal For A Better Press Corps

inspired by XWL

Recently, it has become tres chic to deride journalists for being biased pushers of a left-wing agenda, or of being uncritical stenographers for right wing talking points. Personally, I have a hard time assigning such sinister motives – I think that many journalists are bad at the ‘investigative’ portion of their job.

And this is to be expected: with the explosion of online media outlets there are simply more journalists then ever before. We’ve seen this dynamic before in other contexts: with expansion, there become a shortage of major-league quality pitching, so many pitchers on major league rosters are not really worthy of their jobs. I would suggest a similar process is at work here.

So for once, I think Bud Selig came up with a proper solution: contraction. Instead of the hundreds and hundreds of daily papers we currently have, why don’t we shrink that to a more modest number? I’d suggest 32, spread semi-evenly throughout the union. And since many seem to think of this press as “cheerleaders” who are merely “keeping score”, we could organize each paper around a single point of view.

We would thus be treated to daily editions of the Cincinnati Red Sympathizer, the Washington National Security Intelligencer and the Pittsburgh Corporate Pirate Review. For the religiously inclined, we would have The Los Angeles-Anaheim Angel Times and the Tampa Bay Devil Rag. All sports would be covered by the Oakland Athletic Supporter. Of course the Milwaukee paper would have to be moved to Madison and renamed The Onion.


RonB said...

Another requirement might be to have them actually work in the industry they are covering.

Ah, ferget it, there's nothing to be done about it.You may be right about the root problem, though. I think journalists are making more mistakes these days trying to scoop other media, get their version out so as to make it the definitive version.

I was concerned about a facet of this sloppy journalism in this piece I did a little bit ago when I was first starting out-that somehow a mistake is tantamount to a partisan lie.

And I am definitely nothing short of amused when I wander from Right to Left Blogistan and find each side calling the SAME DAMN PAPER a tool for the other side.

XWL said...

Never, ever attribute to malice what could as easily be explained by incompotence.

Glad I could inspire.

(but really it's Swift you should attribute, not me)

reader_iam said...

Nice post.

As you know, my bias is for more print competition, not less, but many of your points are well taken.

reader_iam said...

Confession: I mostly commented on this to check if my image would appear on comments elsewhere.

Hope you'll forgive.

XWL said...

First the idea of 'modest' proposals is borrowed, and now baby pictures for anonymous bloggers is 'appropriated'.

I'm a trendsetter!

(It's always been thus)

(talk about false immodesty)

Verification Word: sxbsvx

I miss the Subaru SVX that was a cool car

Pooh said...

I drive a Subaru, FWIW...