Recently I ran across a quote attributed to Benjamin Crowinshield Bradlee who became a notable figure during the Watergate scandal as Managing Editor of The Washington Post.
The quote that caught my attention was, “News is the first draft of history.” That certainly is an accurate appraisal of news, but regretfully the state of journalism today is (in my opinion) quite suspect. While history has proven that journalists have frequently been guilty of bias, the current status is one of the most conflicted periods that I can remember. “Yellow Journalism” was rampant back in the days of William Randolph Hearst. Today it is a commonly accepted fact that our major main-stream media went overboard in its obvious support of the election of Barack Hussein Obama.
You might enjoy reading more about Bradlee at:
Be that as it may, I believe the chickens are coming home to roost with the dramatic drops in newspaper circulation, and television viewing figures. Obviously, both business models have evolved with the advent of new competing news outlets such as 24 hour cable news, texting, cell phones, and ever expanding computer applications. The younger generation is no longer turning to newspapers for their news and the circulation figures prove to be a growing problem for major newspapers across the country.
Take a look at the Poynter Online report of April 26th which reflects an over-all 8.7% drop in daily and 6.5% reduction in Sunday circulation over the previous six months. Only the Wall Street Journal increased its circulation by just 10,000 daily readers.
Draw your own conclusions, but it will probably take many years for historians to tell us the real truth behind the demise of the once mighty news organs of our country. Who could have predicted the fall of the mighty print voices such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and The Boston Globe? What does the Wall Street Journal know and do that all the other great broad sheets have failed to accomplish?
One must wonder why ratings for the Fox News Channel shows steady growth while CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, and CNBC are losing news audience. One could wonder if Fox is presenting a product that a growing number of viewers want and find rewarding.
Do you suppose a similar problem exists with both newspapers and television? I bet the difference is just good old fashion honest in-depth reporting.