Winner 2013 Webby Awards for Best Political Website
Top Banner, Site wide
Apr 18, 2014

 Choose a size
Text Size

Top Leaderboard, Site wide

Star-Spangled Baggage
Science Finds New Routes to Energy




The Divide


Truthdig Bazaar more items

 
Report

Is the Press Too Big to Fail?

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Apr 25, 2013
ShironekoEuro (CC BY 2.0)

By Todd Gitlin, TomDispatch

(Page 4)

But don’t let anyone off the hook.  Norms can be bent.  Consider this apt headline on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek after Hurricane Sandy drowned large sections of New York City and the surrounding area: “It’s Global Warming, Stupid.”  Come on, people: Can you really find no way to dramatize the extinction of species, the spread of starvation, the accelerating droughts, desertification, floods, and violent storms?  With all the dots you already report, even with shrunken staffs, can you really find no way to connect them?

If it is held unfair, or naïve, or both, to ask faltering news organizations to take up the slack left by our corrupt, self-dealing, shortsighted institutions, then it remains for start-up efforts to embarrass the established journals.

Online efforts matter. It’s a good sign that the dot-connecting site InsideClimateNews.org was just honored with a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.

But tens of millions of readers still rely on the old media, either directly or via the snippets that stream through Google, Yahoo, and other aggregator sites.  Given the stakes, we dare not settle for nostalgia or restoration, or pray that the remedy is new technology.  Polishing up the old medals will not avail.  Reruns of His Girl Friday, All the President’s Men, and Broadcast News may be entertaining, but it’s more important to keep in mind that the good old days were not so good after allThe press was never too great to fail.  Missing the story is a tradition.  So now the question is: Who is going to bring us the news of all the institutions, from City Hall to Congress, from Wall Street to the White House, that fail us? 

Advertisement

Square, Site wide
Todd Gitlin, who teaches journalism and communications at Columbia University, is the author of The Whole World Is Watching, Media Unlimited, and many other books including, most recently, Occupy Nation:  The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street.

Copyright 2013 Todd Gitlin


New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Newsletter

sign up to get updates


 
 
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.