Whatever happened to the expectation that journalists and news outlets would report what actually happened, as opposed to the speculation of what might transpire?
Back in college, I recall a national magazine cover posing the question: “The Depression, What will it be Like?” At the time, the economy was really foundering, but I wondered if this was news worth reporting, or simply “news” profitable in predicting. Given how fragile consumer confidence can be, perhaps what had been published would become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
For quite some time now we’ve been engulfed in a 24 hour, non-stop news-media machine that must be filled so as to avoid blowing hot and dead air. There are some good things about being able to tune-in to a given outlet for an immediate update on what the current headlines might be. Still, this is a far cry from consulting various news media that are feeling the pressure to jam each second, or page, with “information” that may not turn out to be factually informative at all.
Taking in certain outlets before the recent Presidential election, it was clear that our current President had no Electoral path to victory at all. Then the votes were tallied and the facts became blatantly obvious.
Classic journalism might be boring for those who have grown accustomed to daily events being presented as provocative entertainment.
Yet, if simple facts, relative to what has actually taken place in our world, are not readily and reliably available from sources demonstrating some integrity, one wonders who will report that the Fourth Estate has, in fact, become extinct.