Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What's wrong with reporters?

I loved being a reporter. Not only was the job laden with a sense of duty, it had sizzle.

Not anymore.

These days, nobody slithers lower than us. Not even politicians. What the hell happened?

Newspaper reporter job beats out lumberjack, soldier as "Worst Job of 2013" (click here)


The South Plainsman said...

There are still some very good ones. Know a couple. From the perspective of a person in the news, a lot of the problems are with editors and editorial policy.

I have always blamed Nixon and Watergate for the change, but I suspect the big change really occurred when the radicals from the 60s grew up and got jobs as reporters.....and college professors. But the sensational bits about Watergate makes too many of them wanting to break the big story without doing all of the necessary fact checking and research.

George said...

i believe there are multiple causes about the decline and fall of american journalism: internet, cable, 24/7, corporate ownership, constant right wing bombardment (starting with nattering nabobs of negativism), lazy reporting, national polarization, just to name a few.

often, i'll pose a question online or FB in an attempt to get dialogue going that will initiate thinking.

can't hurt.

but i know this -- they will miss us when we are gone.

Ken Martin said...

I don't want to argue with much of what's been said, but I don't think journalists are going to disappear. Each year I speak to undergraduate and graduate journalism classes at the University of Texas at Austin and frankly I'm amazed and pleased that these young people are eager to get into this crazy business in a time of such turbulence.

Also I think we need to think beyond generalizations about journalism and instead look to some local examples:

1. The Austin American-Statesman has lost at least one-third of its employees in the last few years but it's doing a better job than ever in reporting.

2. The Investigative News Network, of which The Austin Bulldog is a member, has grown to some 76 nonprofit investigative reporting member organizations, with more to come. These organizations are filling in the gaps and producing great journalism that's often supplemented by partnering with mainstream newspapers, radio, and television stations to vastly increase their reach to a larger audience. Take a look for yourself at http://www.investigativenewsnetwork.org.

As for my tiny operation, The Austin Bulldog has broken stories and filed lawsuits against the City of Austin that have triggered major criminal investigations and resulted in major reforms to the way the city operates more openly and transparently.

If we keep doing good work, the respect for reporters will eventually climb, I predict.

Ken Martin said...

The Austin American-Statesman published a column on this topic today by Charlotte Moore. Excellent. Check it out at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/opinion/moore-for-reporter-the-best-of-times-not-the-worst/nXTtR/

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