Once you stop doing something that you routinely did, it’s hard to get back to it. Like missing a day at the gym, it’s hard to find that rhythm again. That’s what happened with blogging. I had written unfinished thoughts that I had meant to finish but never got around to doing them. But here I am on a Thursday night, way past my bedtime, typing out a post to send to Alex to proofread.
I was on the subway, on my way home from work, when I read an article by Andrew Sullivan. Now my commute is usually about 60 to 90 minutes one way and I made the mistake of reading this on the early part of it. When I had finished it, I was seething. When you are crashing from seven cups of coffee and a long day at work, your jaw stays clenched and your mind begins to wander all sorts of directions.
Journalism is all the rage these days. From various startups beginning the pop up and old traditional news sources being taken over by Internet-era entrepreneurs, all the signs point to the industry’s ripening for disruption. These obvious signals even prompted Marc Andreessen to go on an epic tweeting streak that ended up in an highly insightful blog post. He covers many issues with journalism today but one of his most noteworthy points, upon which he expounds on more, is about cheap, grimey ads in the journalism space (“One Weird Trick” or “Doctors Hate Him”).
But what hit the back of my head like a heavy shovel was something I was always aware of, and what had always drawn me to investigative journalism, was that corporate power had taken over the media. I remember reading of, and subsequently watching a documentary of, journalists who had uncovered the horrors behind Monsanto (background) and how their careers and livelihoods were threatened as a result. Their own employers turned on them for doing their jobs better than the rest. I can’t remember the name of the documentary but I was in high school, at home, watching it and just in disbelief that the director was conducting these interviews with the journalists’ faces hidden. I remember saying out loud to myself, “After all these years, they’re still afraid?” It just didn’t make sense.
Now here I am, sitting on a crowded subway, reading the article by Andrew Sullivan, published a few days ago. It reflected on how severely the corporate world had penetrated the journalistic market. “Native ads” in the journalistic world took on a whole new meaning when published articles were sponsored by these corporations, unbeknownst to the readers. In the Information Age, we are being fed lies at a faster pace than ever. With the life of media (not just journalism) dependent on the financial backing of corporations, political agenda has taken precedence over integrity. Poison has seeped into the lifeblood of journalism, peddling dishonest drugs and diseases for the sake of greedy gains.
It is absolutely time for a change. Journalism is not failing because information is becoming free. Journalism is failing because it’s no longer an art and has betrayed the trust of its audience. Journalism stopped giving its believers a reason to care.
When our heroes or heroines got hooked on heroin
Crack raised the murder rate in DC and Maryland
We invested in that, it’s like we got Merrill Lynch-ed
And we been hanging’ from the same tree ever since
Sometimes I feel the music is the only medicine
So we, cook it, cut it, measure it, bag it
Sell it, the fiends cop it, nowadays they can’t tell if
That’s the good sh—, we ain’t sure man
Put the CD on your tongue, yeah that’s pure man
- Kanye West