A slightly oldish though not too much, but still relevant piece on the “fall” of American journalism, which states how the decline began over 20 years ago because the media missed out on the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the Soviet Union. The worst example of media culpability and ignorance has to be the virtual “cheerleading” when George W. Bush led the U.S. in invading Iraq in 2003 on false premises. Yet I strongly feel that the sheer amount of free news and other kinds of writing available online is still the main reason for the stunning decline in print journalism these couple of years. Still it’s not hard to agree that when it comes to the U.S. (and other countries’) mainstream media, ignoring the really important stories for the superficial and scandalous has become quite common.
Interesting-China planning to launch its own global media tv network in the same line as al-Jazeera and BBC, as well as expand its media reach in other areas. The writer is right- for all the great ambition of this project, how would it succeed if there is no free press in the country itself? Would it allow freer reporting and commentary on the rest of the world than at home, which is pretty hypocritical and deceiving? Rather, what if all that money and effort from China went to creating some type of managed news or propaganda
The article raises some important issues on the fate of media journalism especially that the model of advertising-driven media outlets is under serious threat. Journalism is important, but in this age of digital online, often free news, as the author says, who will pay for it? On the other hand, some things can’t be created with money and no amount of money, by itself, without any commitment and practice of media integrity and independence, can create a successful media brand.
In some ways, the world seems to be going through a stunning era of change, from Obama’s historic victory to the ongoing and impending crises afflicting the global financial system. Unfortunately one major industry which might be going through its own era of change, possibly not for the better, is journalism, which is increasingly coming under siege from blogging, digital media, falling print readership and subscriptions, and ad revenues. A piece in the Times Literary Supplement wonders whether this is the End of Journalism.
On a similar note, here’s a very sad case from Canada profiling a contract worker, in the media industry, who has been working on a contract basis for 9 years. She seems quite talented, driven and dedicated … and has nothing much to show for her career, except for a condo and a bunch of short-term contract gigs.
This year’s Superbowl will have the almighty and invincible New England Patriots taking on the feisty New York Giants. American football is my favorite sport to watch, though in reality that doesn’t say much as I only watch soccer (internationally known as football) and American football, but given that my favorite team is gone and none of the remaining teams really appeal to me, I can barely watch. The same thing happened last year when the Colts went all the way. Besides knocking off the Ravens, my then-second team, I don’t like them as they are the Titans’ strongest division rival. When the Superbowl came around, I had a strong vibe that they would beat the Bears in the final and I ended up only looking at part of the 1st quarter. I was right too.
Anyways what’s really interesting about this postseason are the ascent of Eli Manning, the run by the Chargers under coach Norv Turner and the play of Vince Young. None of this is too special in itself, but together they form solid examples of the fallacy of overblown hype and media commentary. Eli Manning has long been castigated by writers and fans, especially and justifiably by his self-centered behavior when he forced a draft-day trade to the Giants from the Chargers who had drafted him originally. While he has not done as well as say, his brother Peyton, he is still a pretty decent quarterback. He’s taken his team to the playoffs twice before this year and he’s had 3 consecutive seasons throwing over 20 touchdowns.
With Norv Turner, he’s also been criticized a multitude of times for his supposedly ineptness and passiveness, especially based on his prior playoff and regular season record. This season his Chargers reached the conference finals (though they lost), and many writers are doing an about-face with him.
The worst case has to be over Vince Young, incidentally the QB of my favorite team. This guy has gotten enormous hype and praise from fans, the media and teammates over his athleticism, his leadership and his winning ways. What’s overlooked though is that he has not played very well. This season he threw for 9 touchdowns while giving up 17 interceptions. While his teammates and the media keep parroting that he’s great because he always wins games, I see it the other way and say that the Titans win INSPITE of him. The defense has been noticeably getting real good since last season and they’ve become one of the best this season. When Albert Haynesworth went down for a few games earlier this season, the Titans lost all those games and there was nothing Vince Young could have done. VY is still young and he’s courageous but that don’t mean jacksh!t if there’s no humility, intelligence or patience to his game. At least with some fans on sport forums and blogs, there’s a growing perception that VY isn’t very good.
I do admire him a bit but I mean, for someone who hasn’t done much, he comes across as too cocky and certainly does not deserve to be on the cover of Madden 08 nor be able to go to the Pro Bowl as a rookie. In short he just gets way too much credit and honestly may not even be as good as Michael Vick, who in spite of his atrocious dog cruelty, was a good QB who got a bunch of hype and then got too much blame, I think, for his team’s mediocrity. Also, one could compare him with Reggie Bush who got a mad load of hype, not to mention endorsements, and bombed as the main running back this season. Mario Williams, the guy taken ahead of both of them by the Texans to great amusement and ridicule from a lot of people, had a great season this year and got voted to the Pro Bowl. Time will tell, but for now, the cases of VY and Reggie Bush abysmal 2nd seasons show why people should take their time before starting with the hero worship and excess hype.