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Monday, May 24, 2004

Are Journalists Out of Touch?



In a blurb on the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal page they make mention of a recent study by the Pew Research group.

Link to the Opinion Journal Blurb "The People vs. the Press"

Link to Pew Research Center "Bottom-Line Pressures Now Hurting Coverage, Say Journalists: Press Going Too Easy on Bush"

The info at the Pew sight is a bit hard to read but one thing that just jumps our is how stunningly far out there people in the press are compared to the rest of America.

63% of journalists could not think of a "news organizations that are especially liberal". We can get into arguments on bias and causes but for almost two thirds of journalists to not think of even one liberal media source is amazing. How left do journalists as a group have to be for 63% to not think that the New York Times or NPR are liberal?

24% of the American public feels that the press is not critical enough of Bush. 55% of journalists feel they are too easy on Bush. I'm not saying they are or aren't just pointing out the massive disparity in numbers. That 24% of Americans that think Bush is getting off easy I would say more or less represents the die hard "Anybody But Bush" lobby. Does that mean more than half of journalists are in the ABB camp? Something to keep in mind as election day draws near.

I predict that the public will listen to the mainstream media less and less as they being to feel that the journalists are out of touch. Journalists will react to this by being extremist to trying and be heard vs. stepping back and reflecting on why people don't care what they say. We live with a press that grew up seeing a few like Walter Cronkite have God like powers to influence American opinion and they think it's their right to wield the same power. I doubt they will react kindly to being ignored.

Comments:
Well, Chad, if a quarter of a random sampling of the populace are in fact the "anybody but" camp, I'd say Mr. W is out on his ear come the new year. This is, of course, not to suggest that the mainstream media is not out of touch or liberal, but that your mathematical assumptions are a bit simplistic. For a whole different take, which I may have to write myself, I would suggest that the central problem with the mainstream media is not ideological slant but poor training due to the academization of journalism schools (the trend for working journalists on the faculty to be replaced by PHD's with little actual experience). It goes part and parcel with all academia replacing practitioners with theorists in the aftermath of the sixties (or so I've heard, I've some research to do).
As an aside, I can only post to the comments or the blog if I launch through Mozilla and use Netscape. Now that that's cleared up, I have a few post ideas. You'll see them soon.
 
Allow me again to point out that news, just like everything else seems to be, is money and big media reports on what will make them the most money. Would you advertise in a paper or on a news site that no one reads because their stories are bad or they generally go against the popular opinions.

Just be glad we live in a country that allows us to have news that can "expose" President and homeless people alike without fear of the government, as far as we know, stepping in and saying they can't print that and then throwing them in jail for having ideas contrary to what the government believes.

I don't know that the problem is education either Jeremy. It's the people! Just like a TV show with bad ratings that gets axed after 1 week, I'm sure any story in the media that doesn't get reaction is short lived where are when you print stories that get passed around because of the emotional response, be it good or bad, will continuously get republished and say the same thing in many different ways. For example OJ Simpson, Michael Jackson, Princess Diana, any war for the most part, or scandal gets peoples attention and the media will never let these things go because people buy it financially and mentally. They are drawn to it regardless if the story they are reading has any real meaning, basis of truth, or social value.
 
JEREMY!!! Yes I'd say around a 25% are "Anybody But Bush" but that means nothing. I think you are looking with your heart and not your mind if you think that bodes ill for Bush. Let me rephrase that statement into this. 25% of people, made up of die hard Leftists and ticket line Demorcats, wouldn't vote for Jesus if he was on the Republican Ticket. "Anybody But Bush" is just a new name for the same old crowd that was NEVER going to vote for a republican in the first place. The ABB'ers are not some new segment of society that you then add the party line Dems and Leftist on top of. Sorry to kill this for you but ABB is not a ground swell from the center... it's the mantra of the left. As we have stated a million times there are people that will always vote Republican and people that will always vote Democratic so the fight is over the people in the middle. The ABB wether they are 25% or 5% or 45% are simply those who never factored into the equation in the first place. PS: Some of the ABB'ers will help Bush by voting for Nader.
 
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