Chick Frasco @Chick Frasco
Media--digital, print, and broadcast--has vacated its home at the fourth estate.
The organizations, once tasked with keeping the interests of Washington and Wall Street in check, had now become subservient to the interests they once controlled.
The state of Journalism is in flux. Newspapers are dropping like flies. In their place, numerous digital outlets, those capable and willing to churn and burn through news stories with minimal effort are becoming profitable.
Why? Because speed matters.
Gone are the days of Woodward and Bernstein; Edward R. Murrow, and Upton Sinclair--put to pasture, securing room for an era of special interests, revenue based agendas, and digital impressions. Taking days to produce an article--regardless the scope or quality--is fatal to a news organization in 2014.
Since the internet has upped the speed at which news can be produced and distributed, fact-checking, editing, and polishing have become vestigial to the process.
Also, since the internet has established itself as a free source for information, trying to attach a subscription fee to news has proven to be an ineffective revenue generator. This means that the only manner in which a digital news organization can become profitable, is by collecting ad revenue.
Now nobody has ever claimed that news presents itself without agenda, but the political leanings of a paper are usually internal and generally consistent. Fox News may consider itself fair and balanced, but we all know their right-wing agenda. And in 2013, an editor at the New York Times admitted that their news is presented with a liberal bias.
But when those influences are purchased and traded by outside parties who may have interest in keeping information from--or skewing facts to--the general public, the fourth estate goes into foreclosure.
How can a watchdog bark at the hand that feeds it?
It can't... and doesn't.