Whining Won’t Help

The following is a “must read”, it reveals the true causes for the decline of the old media:


It’s an article by Michael Lenehan entitled “A Year Without Journalism” which was published locally in the Tucson Weekly, January 5, 2006.

In the article he freely admits that newspaper circulation is plummeting, while internet news sources are experiencing wild growth in readership. Mr. Lenehan suggests that bloggers would be out of business if the real journalists went on strike – he proposes a one year work stoppage. After all, those little pissants just steal from the real journalists anyway.

Gosh, do you think we could get the “journalists” to sign a contract to that affect before they change their minds?

Apparently without intention, Mr. Lenehan exemplifies the problem of the Old Media – and it’s not the pissants in the New Media. Does he wonder why people are abandoning newspapers in droves? Does he ask what the dweebs are providing readers that he and his colleagues are not? Does it occur to him that with his superior intellect, work ethic, moral character, and overall goodness, he and his colleagues could make a superior product and grind those little dweebs under their boot-heels? No! He dismisses the competition as geek losers who can only steal the stellar creations of the “journalists”.

These guys live in a closed, detached, and somewhat incestuous industry that has lost sight of the prize. They need to start writing for their customers and not each other. The people want accuracy, honesty, and the whole story.

The notion that internet news sources do no original reporting is delusional wishful thinking on the part of the “journalists”. How many national stories have been broken by Matt Drudge? Who asks the better questions in an interview – Hugh Hewitt or Katie Couric? Who told the truth about President Bushes National Guard service – Rush Limbaugh or Dan Rather?

Remember, “bloggers” might have come to be known as “bjournalists” if the latter did not sound so Swedish; then the “journalists” would have had to go back to being reporters.

3 thoughts on “Whining Won’t Help

  1. I couldn’t agree more. The Media has brought this on themselves. They have shown themselves not to be dispassionate seekers of truth, but to be willing participants with agendas. An often quoted answer by young journalism students to the question, “Why do you want to be a journalist?” is “I want to make a difference.” More and more we see the Media inserting themselves INTO the story. How often do we see poll results as the lead story on the six o’clock news? This is manufactured news.

    The newspaper here in Milwaukee is a prime example of media arrogance. When there is bad economic news, it makes the front page above the fold; when the economic news is good, it’s on page 3 of the Business Section. There are blockbuster stories here in Wisconsin concerning the Democratic vote fraud and ethics probes of our wonderful governor, but the largest paper in the state had to be dragged kicking and screaming by bloggers and radio talk show hosts into finally covering them. And their editorial stance is to brush off the vote fraud as “petty shenanigans.”

    So if the journalists want to take a year off, have at it, you won’t be missed. The only thing better is when our government is in recess. That’s the only time I know my rights and my wallet are safe.


  2. Sadly I agree – I cut my teeth in a “real” newsroom back in the late 70s and early 80s, when there really was lots of grit and seeking of truth – and real reporters got to seek out real stories. This was actually the Tucson Citizen! Then things got weird when we got our first showy publisher who then started pushing numbers over news.

    So this is where I disagree with ya a little, Sammy – it’s the publishers and owners, not the reporters for the most part, who drive bad journalism (or rather, non-existent journalism). When the Star got Jane Amari, ho-boy, did I hear lots behind the scenes from the reporters who jumped ship when she started making newsgathering a by-committee effort (seriously again – news “teams” gathered news and editorial “teams” decided how it should be presented). A few of the really good reporters who stuck it out through her ill-fated reign (did you hear the rumor, she’s actually running papers for WICK, in Willcox!??) cried many a tear in many a beer over the lack of freedom to write real stuff. Even with Amari gone, the Star persists in strange journalism. This one female reporter who sounds at least 12 on the phone, persists in writing these bizarre crime news stories dripping emotion about not the victime but the perp. Usually these stories involve a cop shooting someone who deserved to be shot, if that give you a clue. I wrote and asked when emoticon-of-the-day was a standin for real crime reporting, but never got an answer . . .

  3. Roseann,

    I will certainly defer to your first-hand experience regarding publishers/owners and reporters.

    I was holding up the author of that particular column as an example of a class of “journalist” who’s members retreat from the world, do not dig for stories, and are truly out of touch. They do not see their own competition in any sort of objective way – and certain not as evidence of their own shortcomings. They do not, of course, represent all journalists, but the fact that they are tolerated by the industry is disconcerting.


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