Whose Fault?

While others are covering the media breakdown that this campaign seems to be engendering, I found these two articles to be worth reading, for background if nothing else. The perception that somehow the failure of “big media” is not their own fault is not surprising in this era of reduced responsibility everywhere, but it’s surprising to see self-flagellation in any form — and the implication that it’s all the Internet’s fault is just goofy:

  • Washington Post: The Media, Losing Their Way

    When the Internet opened the door to scores of “journalists” who had no allegiance at all to the skeptical and self-disciplined ethic of professional news gathering, the bars were already down in many old-line media organizations. That is how it happened that old pros such as Dan Rather and former New York Times editor Howell Raines got caught up in this fevered atmosphere and let their standards slip.

  • New York Times: Fear and Laptops on the Campaign Trail

    The news media helped create the modern campaign, and now they seem to be stuck in it. The bloggers, by contrast, adapted quickly. By the time the Republican convention rolled around in August, they had figured something out, staying far, far away from that zoo down at Madison Square Garden. They had begun to work the way news people do at manufactured news events, by sticking together, sharing information, repeating one another’s best lines. They were learning their limitations, and at the same time they were digging around and critiquing and fact-checking and raising money. They still liked posting dirty jokes and goofy Photoshopped pictures of politicians, but they had hope, and more than a few new ideas, and they were determined to make themselves heard.