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Saturday, January 28, 2006

A Survival Strategy for Mainstream Media

Powerline's Paul Mirengoff explains in a mere two succinct sentences what the mainstream media must do if it is to survive in the internet epoch:

"The audience for the nightly MSM newscasts are the remnants of a generation that considered the news anchors the most trusted men in America. Why not try to earn that sort of trust from new generations of non-extremist Americans through objective, non-partisan reporting?"

Sounds simple, doesn't? So why can't they do it? They can't because they absolutely believe they already are. As it happens, I am a newspaper journalist by profession and consider myself a creature of the newsroom. That is why it pains me to observe colleagues in print and broadcast news who simply cannot see their own biases.

But what makes Paul's post interesting is his dealing with this question: What if tomorrow the mainstream media did recognize the error of its ways and begin a determined and sustained campaign to return to its finest tradition of covering the news objectively and even-handedly?

As Paul explains, the left side of the Blogosphere would go crazy, as they have been in recent weeks over remarks by NBC's Tim Russert and The Washington Post's Deborah Howell pointing out that the Jack Abramoff scandal is not a GOP exclusive.

Go here for the rest of Paul's post, which includes links to a couple of other thoughtful takes on the issue.

UPDATE: The Kos-Moveon Effect

That's what Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit dubs the same process described above but at work in the political universe. Here's The Washington Post news report describing the process in the Alito hearings fight on Capitol Hill.