The Downward Journey of Journalism

Not much surprises me these days but nothing makes me shake my head more than those whose job is to inform finding hit and miss messages to spread thinking that only controversy sells.  Much like advertisers think that a good product will never reach millions of consumers unless it is attached to barely clothed women or some handsome hunk without a shirt.  Contrary to Wall Street wisdom, sex does not sell, it only directs the mind toward sex and demises the product you are trying to sell but that’s just a layman’s view and apparently it doesn't count.
Take for example the recent uproar presented to us by Ed Mazza of the Huffington Post who found it important to waste ink and print room on “President Obama Criticized for 'Latte Salute' While Stepping off Marine One”.  Personally I can think of a billions things that could have occupied this space and our time better than this but then I am not the one who chooses what is plastered on the pages of so-called news magazines.  This is not news; it is nothing more than a clear example of the downward journey of journalism.

We are presently in a war and instead of helping to solve this issue through a rigorous debate congress is sitting at home with their feet elevated above their heads.  Nothing about this takes as much precedence as the “latte salute”.  So why are we surprised when congress sees nothing wrong with failing to do their duty and refusing to take any responsibility at all.  Why should they when the public, their employers, are spending more time whining about this instead of the potential for lives lost.

I can remember when this thing with ISIL first started and the majority, according to those omnipresent polls, did not want boots on the ground now that is mostly all we hear about.  Those who first complained that there should not be any American boots on the ground have now turned and decided that we must now have them.  Was this a decision that they made themselves or were they converted by others?  Because journalism is on its downward journey, I think it is because others told them what to think.

Yesterday, mostly all those who reported on the airstrikes in Syria were saying the exact same thing and none seem to have an opinion of their own.  Every time you saw one of them on camera, they seemed to be following the same idea posted to the prompter as all the rest, no original thought or idea whatsoever.  Journalism used to be breaking news and the ability of one reporter to track down every aspect of a story before presenting it.  There used to be stories where America was drawn to it not because of sensationalism or controversy but each time they hear that story it would provide them a better and deeper understanding.  Meaning each episode of that same story was not told by the slant of the person commenting but by newly unearth information or another completely different take on it when was first presented.

Journalism used to be an honorable cause and calling but now with the Wall Street mentality and the lust for more viewers and higher ratings, it is simply been slated as an opportunity for interviewers to play the school yard game of he said, she said.  Never really caring if the truth gets out or not only to get the reaction of the other person.  This is not and never will be news, its plain and simple the old way of communication called gossip.  We don’t ever care to find out if what someone is saying is the truth because we think that it sells better to help to spread the gossip.  I remember when gossip was thought to be something only done at the fence between neighbors or in the church yard before entering church but now our professional journalist have elevated it to an art form and one wonders why so many are closing.

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