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Hypergene MediaBlog » You Call That News? I Don't

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Wednesday, 15 Sep 2004

You Call That News? I Don't

Via Jeff Jarvis and Bertrand Pecquerie:

“The ever-impressive Bryan Keefer of writes a smart, direct, and insightful open letter to big media about how it should be changing for newer, younger audiences in the Washington Post.”

"The media’s obsession with getting the latest minutiae about John Kerry and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, or the latest gossipy tidbits about President Bush’s alleged past drug use, is misplaced. The endless he said/he said reporting and the airtime given to questionable allegations highlight the reason why so many young people like myself are turning away from mainstream outlets such as newspapers and network newscasts. Instead, we’re increasingly choosing to get our news and analysis from the Internet and even turning to unconventional outlets like Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” in pursuit of the straight story.

“To me and others raised in our media-saturated environment, where 24-hour cable news and Internet access bring us more information than we can possibly digest, the mainstream media seem trapped in the age of “All the President’s Men.” They’re still wedded to outdated ambitions like getting the “scoop” or maintaining a veneer of objectivity, both of which are concepts that have been superseded by technology. We live in an era when PR pros have figured out how to bend the news cycle to their whims, and much of what’s broadcast on the networks bears a striking resemblance to the commercials airing between segments. Like other twenty-somethings (I’m 26), I’ve been raised in an era when advertising invades every aspect of pop culture, and to me the information provided by mainstream news outlets too often feels like one more product, produced by politicians and publicists.

“Where can people go to get the real story on issues like Kerry’s Vietnam service? The sad truth is that there isn’t one single place where they can go, because hardly anyone in the mainstream media is putting the real story together effectively. Until the media begin understanding that many young people are turning away from mainstream news outlets for precisely this reason, we’ll continue to go elsewhere for our news."

As Jeff said, if we start quoting more, we’ll copy the whole thing. So go read the whole thing instead. The 26-year-old Keefer is an editor at CJR’s, is co-author of All the President’s Spin: George W. Bush, the Media, and the Truth.

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Posted on Sep 15, 2004 | 4:04 pm EST
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