Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lining the birdcage

If words matter, and I think that they do, why are so many newspaper and other media people, as well as writers, limiting themselves to 140 characters, thinking that Twitter is the solution to their problems? This isn't about being concise, it's about being suicidal.

Hence, David Sirota's Salon column comes along, and reminds me that all these hip, oh so ironic media bloggers are part of the problem, instead of being part of the solution. It doesn't hurt that he drops a David Simon reference, either.

Sirota laments,

Beltway scribes didn't have to miss the Iraq war lies or the predictive signs of the Wall Street meltdown. Election correspondents weren't compelled to devote four times the coverage to the tactical insignifica of campaigns than to candidates' positions and records, as the Project for Excellence in Journalism found. Business reporters didn't need to give corporate spokespeople twice the space in articles as they did workers and unions, as a Center for American Progress report documents. National editors weren't obligated to focus on "elevat(ing) the most banal doings" in the White House to "breaking news," as the New York Times recently noted.

No, they certainly did not, but they did.

That's why this morning, when I thought about driving two miles to our town's one variety store, for the Maine Sunday Telegram, I poured a second cup of coffee and picked up the memoir I'm reading, instead.

1 comment:

Mark LaFlamme said...

I thought this line was particularly pertinent:
"First, financially strapped newspapers undermined their comparative advantage by replacing audience-attracting local exclusives with cheaper national content."