Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The State of Reporting

Last night I learned several interesting things from the editor of our local paper, Tim Archuleta. One, don't expect the major news outlets to report on the long list of heavy hitter Bush donors sharing Dover Sole with the Queen. A few years back a night in the Clinton Lincoln bedroom splashed the news for days, Today, such a story might not see the even the briefest light of day.

Why? Is it because the public no longer has an expectation of anything else? Do both parties disgustingly pander to their high dollar benefactors? Have they lowered the bar of public standards, thus the Bush invitee "suck up" list is no longer "news", but Paris Hilton and Anna Nicole Smith are?

Maybe, but Tim offered another explanation. Did you see the invitation list? It's chalk full of media people, David Gregory-NBC News, Elizabeth Hasselbeck-The View, Steve Holland-Reuters, Jim Nantz-CBS Sports, Robin Roberts-ABC, and Richard Wolffe-Newsweek. They are no longer impartial. They've been co-opted.

I learned more from Mr. Archuleta. There is virtually no chance an enterprising individual can discover something newsworthy on a national level outside the established media and have it get picked up. Local papers no longer break stories with national implications that get rolled up into the wire services.

So where does this leave us with a co-opted national media and impenetrable local news outlets? Consider the media a sense organ for the people. It now has limited capabilities.

Tim spoke highly of the Fourth Estate. He spoke of its role in finding and exposing corruption. Yet, how likely will corruption be exposed with the media's self blinded eye? Some enterprising individual or whistleblower will have to jump many hurdles to be heard in today's environment.

I connected with Tim's painting the media as the guardian of truth. I'm just puzzled how it can be executed given the system in place today. Nevertheless, I appreciate The Standard Times for doing its part the best it can.

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