Eternally Nostalgic, and Alarmed at How Things Are Now
February 12, 2020 7:25 AM   Subscribe

What has happened in journalism in the twenty-first century is a version, perhaps an extreme one, of what has happened in many fields. A blind faith that market forces and new technologies would always produce a better society has resulted in more inequality, the heedless dismantling of existing arrangements that had real value, and a heightened gap in influence, prosperity, and happiness between the dominant cities and the provinces. The political implications of this are painfully obvious, in the United States and elsewhere: in journalism, the poorer, the more nativist, the angrier parts of the country (which vote accordingly) are the ones where journalism can’t deliver on its public promise because of its severe economic constraints. Journalism is a case in which it’s going to take a whole new set of arrangements, and a new way of thinking, to solve the present crisis. Can Journalism Be Saved? by Nicolas Lemann in the NYRB]
posted by chavenet (2 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
The political implications of this are painfully obvious, in the United States and elsewhere: in journalism, the poorer, the more nativist, the angrier parts of the country (which vote accordingly)

...I would just really super love to read only versions of this discussion where "poor" does not mean "poor white" and we do not assume a natural progression from "poor white" to "white supremacist."
posted by praemunire at 8:41 AM on February 12 [12 favorites]


I don't think the conclusion really rests on that assumption, and the piece does take some time to point out that what professional journalists consider "good" journalism has historically underserved a whole swathe of society, which is an important discussion to have. The model of paying for journalism influences its audience and thus what gets written, and expensive subscriptions mean that sites like The Washington Post are probably going to be pretty useless for a working-class audience.

I didn't mention The New York Times because I can't imagine the Grey Lady ever being useful to a working-class audience.
posted by Merus at 6:23 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


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