Journalism sinks like rock in a cesspool!!!

August 25, 2007 by barbara

barbara writes

“Journalism” has gone missing.

The latest and greatest is stories about and access to tapes of 911 phone calls from the I-35W bridge that collapsed earlier this month. Give me a break!

MPR tells us that the 911 tapes were released Friday in response to public records requests from news media including The Associated Press. This is totally crass and more than a little disgusting.

“911 calls capture raw horror after bridge fell,” bleats the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “A flurry of 911 calls captured the moments of concern, panic and fear after the I-35W bridge collapse.” >> Read more.

“Released Transcripts And Tapes Reveal Horror And Disbelief,” says CBS News.

“Listen to a series of 9-1-1 calls following the Interstate 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis on Aug. 1,” says a more subdued St. Paul Pioneer Press.

“'The Road Collapsed': 911 calls from Minneapolis bridge disaster reveal panic and confusion,” says Fox News, top of page, just above a story about a man who died because a surgeon operated on the wrong side of his head.

CNN has already moved on from the 911 tapes to 40+ humans incinerated in a Greek wildfire of suspicious origin.

And all of this runs alongside the Michael Vick stories that have dominated the front pages for weeks.

Not for the first time, I find myself wondering about what underlies selection and placement of “stories” in the MSM. Sensationalism sells. Selling supports the bottom line. Ergo, sensationalism scores and hard news loses. Again.

Are we really just a nation of small-minded voyeurs? Was it ever thus?

If it is what it is, then maybe what’s called for in order to raise public awareness of the egregious deeds and Machiavellian plans of BushCo is at minimum new headline writers. Each MSM venue could create a staff position titled “Sensationalist.”

Stories with substance could run, oh, maybe a quarter column with lots of gory photos that may or may not have anything to do with the story itself and subheads to further break up all that monotonous text. The Sensationalist would write the subheads, too. And for television, those subheads would flash up on the screen, superimposed over the brilliant, gleaming teeth of the anchor reading the "news" to viewers.

And then . . . what’s that you say? This is already happening? And within 30 seconds, stories of huge national importance are buried? You say it’s a slow news day when Lindsay Lohan doesn’t get arrested? You say there are no longer any tenacious, investigative journalists interested in something other than Nicole Richie’s time served? Are you telling me the MSM has become a self-serving, bottom-line-driven drivel factory? And you say that’s because it’s what the people want?

Once upon a time, we had McClatchy in our area. But then they went away. No, wait. I can do better than that.

McClatchy skips town, takes news with them!
Millions left behind in brain-sucking void!

Just sayin’. (sigh)

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Comments

MLS (not verified) | August 25, 2007 - 10:28am

Right on Barbara. I'm just wishin' that everyone would start
watching and listening to Bill Moyers on Friday evening. He continues to have wonderful in depth coverage.
Moyers even started a new feature called the Clip Files -
those stories, and there are a number of them to choose from, that have fallen through the cracks during the course of the week's news.
But, of course, it's this type of coverage that makes people
think, ask questions and research further. Heaven forbid.
Kennebunkport is having a protest march this weekend. I was a month early in that part of the country but my nephew will be there knowing I'll at least be marching along with him in thought. I wonder who will get more coverage - those protesting the war in Iraq and anti-Bush or those protesting
the protesters. If I know FOX and CNN...

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barbara aka babs (not verified) | August 25, 2007 - 5:49pm

Ohmygosh. Completely spaced that this is the Kennebunkport weekend. I confess I'm a little puzzled by the venue, though. Are the protesters hopeful that Poppy and Babs will spread the word to the Toxic Texan? Be that as it may, I don't recall seeing even a hiccup about this in that good old MSM. Tomorrow, maybe. Front page. Yeah. That's the ticket! Dissent is the American way. Except when Republicans are in office.

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Anonymous (not verified) | August 29, 2007 - 7:35am

A propos to the death of journalism, I see in the NYT that Joel Kramer, former editor and publisher of the Strib, is planning an online daily newspaper for this area.

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Anonymous (not verified) | September 1, 2007 - 8:43am

I may have been unclear in my post above: I welcome just about anything Kramer does. Our metro area newspapers aren't doing their jobs anymore. At our house, we prefer print, but are happy to settle for good reporting.

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susan | September 1, 2007 - 11:52pm

What's interesting about Kramer's project is that he's gathering some of the best local writers, including some who were "let go" or bought out during the last putsch at the Strib, and that his largest named financial backers are those who engineered the sale of the Strib, first round. That's Laurie and Joel Kramer (duh), Sage and John Cowles and Dave and Vicki Cox. Also Lee Lynch. Joel Kramer is very smart. With these writers and solid financing, he should be able to make this go. I also like print, but will adapt if we get a vibrant on-line newspaper. Not just adapt, I'm looking forward to it.

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