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The Earley Edition has officially moved to My dot com, that is. Thanks for joining me.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Oppositional Press

A interesting article about what Karl Rove, advisor and campaign manager I think, to President Bush, thinks of the press, based on a talk he gave at a university.
"Reporters now see their role less as discovering facts and fair-mindedly reporting the truth and more as being put on the earth to afflict the comfortable, to be a constant thorn of those in power, whether they are Republican or Democrat," Rove said.
His talk is described in the article as containing four parts:
  1. that there's been an explosion in the number of media outlets;
  2. that these outlets have an insatiable demand for content;
  3. that these changes create enormous competitive pressure; and
  4. that journalists have increasingly adopted an antagonistic attitude toward public officials.
I think it's a fair enough critique. In terms of journalists being antagonistic, I think that stems also from the view that public officials are more often than not being completely untruthful. It's hard not to be antagonistic when you think someone is trying to deliberately mislead you. It is the explosion in the number of media outlets that creates the twofold effect seen in the next critiques: demand for content and competitive pressure. The effect on administration officials being bombarded by demands for information is the selection of specific news they can cater to. You have anything from new semi-professional news organisations, to blogs. A government can't cater to them all if they ask for information at once, so they have to be selective in deciding first which questions to even listen to before secondly deciding which ones to take the time to answer.

It's great that the individual can more and more be their own news organisation through the use of the internet, if they so desire. The potential that has to put excessive pressure on an administration could inhibit them from doing their job, but I won't ever be unhappy to see increasing numbers of people asking the hard questions. Also, I think being a thorn in the side of those in power is important. I'm going to leave it there. I need to go mow a lawn before going to university.

the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 4/21/2005 08:01:00 am || || Return to Top