Journalism Isn’t Dying, It’s Just Modernizing


Last night on The Daily Show, the editor of Newsweek was the guest where he passionately commented on the importance of this magazine and traditional journalism in general to stopping our democracy from falling into ignorance. You couldn’t help but feel bad watching the interview, but I really don’t think that the rise of the “new media” and the fall of the old media is going to lead to a less educated public.

Watch the interview here:

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The guest talks about how we need publications like Newsweek to have reporters in places like Iran. Although this may sound logical to some, I’m afraid it simply isn’t true. Embedded journalists who published exclusively online had some of the best reporting on the war in Iraq, which led to tremendously successful online donation-based websites like The Long War Journal. The public has access to Iraqi, Iranian, and other Middle Eastern bloggers who are native to these countries. Having reporters on-site is great, but I’d much rather hear the perspective of people who actually live there.

The new media is also better at fact-checking and speeding up the intellectual debate. Yes, bloggers and other people in the new media are frequently wrong, but for everyone who gets something wrong, there are a dozen or more bloggers/writers salivating at pointing out their error. When there’s faulty analysis, there’s immediately someone challenging and correcting it.

The main danger of the rise of the new media, in my opinion, is partisanship. Granted, the old media was hardly objective, but the new media seems to put all news in the context of politics and who it vindicates or indicts.

At the same time, though, people have access to a huge range of websites with various point-of-views. Ultimately, I think it’s healthier for the American people to read several websites of different partisan slants than to invest their trust in one or two’s so-called “objectivity.”