How media has failed us

I think I (and many others) have made the point before that our major media outlets have failed us in tremendously significant ways. Consistently the only accurate, in-depth, intelligent reporting I see is from PBS, NPR, or other countries. Part of me wishes I had pursued a career in journalism so that I could somehow make a positive impact in the field, rather than just rail against it weakly (though that’s most likely what I would have done from the inside, as well).

See, big media needs to sell ads to survive. To sell (the right) ads, they have to meet certain ratings and demographic numbers. To draw in those numbers, a lot of work goes into targeting audiences, a lot of market research. Market research is a process of distillation, a precision instrument. When you’re honing in on your target, there’s no room for externalities. When you’re drawing in the subject, you can’t risk boring them with depth or complex discourse. You’ve got to offer the most stories with the highest impact in the least amount of time – I hear CNN is now advertising more stories per hour:

But I digress. The real point of this post was to link to this article, which offers insight into the inner workings of a major network. It sheds light both on its failure to uphold the standards of old media and to keep up with new media. I love the way the article opens, so I’ve quoted that as well as some other salient points (after the jump): Continue reading