“NEWSPAPERS BITE”, writes journalist Kathleen Parker, who says they’re looking for love in wrong places:
Let me be blunt. Newspapers bite. The work isn’t much fun anymore, thanks to the soul-snatching corporate culture that has euthanized newsroom personalities. Most papers reflect that numbers-crunching, cubicle-hunkering mentality. We’re boring, predictable, staid and out of touch with the folks with quarters.
Nobody rushes to the rack anymore to see what the paper’s great voices have to say because there aren’t many great voices left. Meanwhile, half the nation’s editorial cartoonists – Doug Marlette’s “designated feelers” – have disappeared from editorial pages, leaving holes where hearts used to beat.
With television offering headlines – and Internet blogs offering inspired commentary – why do people want to get their hands dirty reading stale stories that fail to ring the chime of truth?
Declining reader confidence isn’t just about high-profile scandals such as the Jayson Blair/New York Times and Jack Kelley/USA Today debacles. Distrust is also tied to the reality “disconnect” between those who produce newspapers and those who read them.
Yes, the media tilt left and the Earth is round. A recent poll by the Pew Research Center that has journalists debating themselves reports that the elite media are far more liberal than the public (“Ordinary Americans,” as the elites like to call you). While 34 percent of journalists self-identify as liberal, only 20 percent of Ordinary Americans do. Only 7 percent of journalists consider themselves conservative, compared with 33 percent of the public.
Even those figures may be misleading, as a large majority of journalists consider themselves moderate. You be the judge.