Mainstream Media is Crushing Public Confidence

(USAWatchdog) – Recently, a new Gallup poll delivered some bad news to mainstream media–only one fourth of people asked believe what it says.  The Gallup story said, “Americans continue to express near-record-low confidence in newspapers and television news – with no more than 25% of Americans saying they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in either.”  (Click here for the complete Gallup story.)

This is not a recent trend according to Gallup and other polls done on this subject.  Last summer, comedian Jon Stewart of the “Daily Show” was “Most Trusted” newscaster.  I wrote about this in a piece I did last year called “The Soft Truth.”  I said, “He had almost as many votes as Charlie Gibson and Brian Williams combined.  Katie Couric, according to the Time Magazine poll, came in dead last.  Boy, if that is a not a wake-up call to mainstream media, I do not know what is. . . . Doing superficial event type news programming is something I call “The Soft Truth.”  It is more or less superficial news and is cheap, fast to produce, and you will not make enemies. The news in mainstream media has mostly become just the stuff between the commercials. Then, there is what I call “The Hard Truth.” This story is not cheap, it ties up the company lawyers and management and, if done right, you will piss some people off.  And even if there are cutbacks because of advertising shortfalls, you can still ask hard questions.” (Click here for the complete soft truth story for September of 09.)

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MSM: The Death of Newspapers and the Failure of Paywalls

(Guardian) – If you are reading this article on a printed copy of the Guardian, what you have in your hand will, just 15 years from now, look as archaic as a Western Union telegram does today. In less than 50 years, according to Clay Shirky, it won’t exist at all. The reason, he says, is very simple, and very obvious: if you are 25 or younger, you’re probably already reading this on your computer screen. “And to put it in one bleak sentence, no medium has ever survived the indifference of 25-year-olds.”

You have probably never even heard of Shirky, and until this interview I hadn’t either. When I ask him to define what he does, he laughs, and admits that often when he’s leaving a party someone will say to him, “What exactly is it you do?” His standard reply – “I work on the theory and practice of social media”– is not just wilfully opaque, but crushingly dreary, which is funny, because he is one of the most illuminating people I’ve ever met. Read entire article

New Study Documents Media’s Servitude to Government – Glenn Greenwald

(Salon) – A newly released study from students at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government provides the latest evidence of how thoroughly devoted the American establishment media is to amplifying and serving (rather than checking) government officials.  This new study examines how waterboarding has been discussed by America’s four largest newspapers over the past 100 years, and finds that the technique, almost invariably, was unequivocally referred to as “torture” — until the U.S. Government began openly using it and insisting that it was not torture, at which time these newspapers obediently ceased describing it that way: Continue reading

The FTC’s Plan to Bailout the Dinosaur Newspaper Industry and Suffocate Blogs

(EconomicPolicyJournal) – The Federal Trade Commission has been nosing around how to save journalism and in its just-posted “staff discussion draft” on “potential policy recommendations to support the reinvention of journalism,” it makes its bias clear: The FTC defines journalism as what newspapers do and aligns itself with protecting the old power structure of media. Read More Here

MSM: Circulation drops at U.S. newspapers as readers turn to online news sources

(LATimes) – The average circulation at about 400 daily newspapers falls more than 10% in the last six months as compared to a year ago. Smaller newspapers fare better. Continue reading