Busy with deadlines and Christmas planning, this week is just a quick roundup of recent media news and notes. The real future of news? Ad Age columnist and National Public Radio media maven Bob Garfield puts his finger on where the business is going and why. What we lost with the decline – in size and […]

Busy with deadlines and Christmas planning, this week is just a quick roundup of recent media news and notes.

The real future of news? Ad Age columnist and National Public Radio media maven Bob Garfield puts his finger on where the business is going and why.

What we lost with the decline – in size and authority both – of large comprehensive news providers like, say, CBS News or even The New York Times, has in part been a coherent consensus on reality. The often-wrongheaded nature of that consensus may lead us to say “good riddance,” but the fractured media world that has replaced it goes a long way to explaining the increasingly unintelligible cacophony that passes as civic discourse these days. So will the rise of the curator bring some degree of order and coherence back? Or is it gone for good?

Still more on Patch.com: Paid Contentreports on the continued expansion of Patch.com (including the apparent forcing of a rival to end its pay wall) and speculates on the operation’s finances.

David Carr at The New York Times analyzes how WikiLeaks has grown more powerful thanks to the mainstream press (including his own paper). Also at the Times: a look at the stunning success of The Atlantic Monthly‘s commitment to a digital business model.

Closer to home: “Folkbum” Jay Bullock criticizes the Journal Sentinel‘s breaking news headline on Monday’s health-reform ruling. The Business Journal took the same approach that the daily did.

Liberal press critic Media Matters makes some careful analysis  in its takedown of an LA Times story on who is – or isn’t – “rich” in light of the debate over the Obama-Republican tax deal.

And returning where we began, after a fashion… Newspaperman-turned-consultant Alan Mutter says objective journalism is dead and it’s long past time to get over it and move on.

My own take? Yes, but… As I’ve written before, I think there may be space for more frank embracing of strong points of view in journalism. But accompanying that needs to be an ethic of intellectual honesty, including really understanding opposing arguments and fairly explaining them, not just either writing them off or misrepresenting them.

Which isn’t what happened over at Fox News, where an exec ordered the newsroom to spurn “public option” and say instead “government option” when talking about the provision in the original Obama health-insurance reform that would have created a, yes, government insurance plan to compete with the private sector. And while Slate ‘ s Jack Shafer says it’s no big deal, he ignores the fact that the memo directly followed a GOP pollster’s advice to Fox commentator Sean Hannity on the grounds that “government option” made it unpopular with huge majorities of voters while “public option” divided them.

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