Friday, February 15, 2019

Can media survive the Trump presidency?

Journalistic standards were dropping 3-4 decades before Trump won, and the editorial bias was to the left. However, once the print media had to compete with the internet media things really got serious.  The media, both old school and new, are dependent on ads for income.  Sure, some have subscriptions, (one is actually owned by the richest man in the world and could care less about accuracy) but now it's all about the click count or full page ads of faculty names or companies supporting climate scares or fighting the rape culture. If you've noticed, some of the on-line content not only isn't information or commentary, but it's disguised advertising. Pew says newspaper print ad revenue fell by 2/3 between 2006 and 2016. But what brings on the clicks?  Any salacious and twisted story about President Trump.  They helped create his campaign by giving him so much coverage, and now they're still dependent on him while they attempt to destroy him, but in the process use him to fatten their sad bank accounts.

Yes, Trump blasts "fake news" and that gets journalists worked up who then fight back, but unfortunately they don't even see their own biases and some really believe they are being objective and fair. And then there are revelations like those of Andrew McCabe's book which just prove him right again.

Conservatives knew for years before the 2016 election that they weren't being treated fairly, that the intellectual "elites" in the media, academe, DC, the state houses, and entertainment were slamming, ridiculing and dissing them. So it's been a perfect storm--falling advertising revenue, loss of readership by customers who don't trust them (most people don't enjoy being insulted by someone who wants to sell them something), and a President who calls them out on their bias.

I would like to see the old print media survive, and the web media improve, but they've got a few miles to go to win back the country and become solvent again.

"If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalistic tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?

Because if you believe all of those things, you have to throw out the textbook American journalism has been using for the better part of the past half-century, if not longer, and approach it in a way you’ve never approached anything in your career. If you view a Trump presidency as something that’s potentially dangerous, then your reporting is going to reflect that. You would move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional. That’s uncomfortable and uncharted territory for every mainstream, nonopinion journalist I’ve ever known, and by normal standards, untenable."

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