Saturday, March 03, 2007

The dichotomy of what we expect and what the Miami Herald actually delivers. by Geniusofdespair

I wanted to take my February 23, 2007 post “Miami Herald: Is it the buggy whip of this century?” a bit further. What did I mean when I said: "I want the Miami Herald to be a better newspaper."

My expectations of Miami Herald newspaper reporting and what and how they actually report are sometimes at odds. They seem to miss the boat. I could never figure out why I was so unhappy with coverage until I read “Censored: Media Democracy in Action 2007.”

If someone says it better than I ever could -- I can, thankfully, present their superior argument.

In the book Robert Jensen hit the nail on the head when he said:

Corporate journalists agree that they should serve as watchdogs on power but bristle, of course, at the suggestion that they fail to do that. In a society in which enormous power in concentrated in a militarized state and predatory corporations, the task for journalists is clear: “ruthless criticism of the existing order,” to borrow a phrase from a famous nineteenth-century journalist, Karl Marx. But more often toothless than ruthless, today’s supposed journalistic watchdogs in the mainstream end up being more bark than bite.

What constrains corporate journalists in their mission? In his propaganda model, Edward Herman identified key factors: The very structure of media corporations and advertising revenue of the news business as well as the so-called practices of “objective” journalism that paradoxically, hamper the news media in the pursuit of truths that matter most and make mainstream journalism less objective in a deeper sense of the term.

Now maybe you can understand more fully what I was getting at when I said in that February 23rd post:

"Is it too much to ask that the Herald should be a lean, mean fighting machine."


Anonymous said...

This blog just gets better and better!

not really said...

Living outside of the Herald delivery area, I'm trying to do my part for the Herald by stealing the Sun-Sentinel. If we could kill that rag, maybe some scale of economy would help the only decent paper in SoFla.

Nice blog. HT for ID of Bathroom door ink smudge syndrome! Now I know why I don't bother cleaning that.

Genius of Despair said...

competition is good. I wouldn't want to see the sun-sen disappear.

lunkhead said...

The Miami Herald used to be the "conservative" paper when it was a two-paper town. The Miami News was the afternoon paper and took a decidedly "liberal" tilt. Now it has taken that far-left turn. However, a newspaper's role is to expose truth, regardless of political leanings, and on that matter, the Herald has failed miserably. The city has been swallowed up too much power in the hands of too few people as the paper has stood idly by. I say this as a passer by, since I only read the Herald on my infrequent trips to Miami. I occasionally read the website.

Anonymous said...

I get three papers, NYT, FT, and WSJ but I love the Herald. You can breeze thru that sucker in 5 minutes or less flat. Try that with the NYTs. I've given up trying to read the whole NYT article and just focus in the first few paragraphs. I don't think Norm Chomsky would be happy about that.

Genius of Despair said...

It is not only me and the people who chose to comment complaining about newspapers/reporting. Two reporters have weighed in:

On January 31st I quoted Dave Barry on news reporting.

In the newspaper today I am quoting from a fine reporter, Carl Hiaasen:
"But this is the new New Journalism, which is steered by a core belief that people would rather be smothered by seedy gossip about dead ex-Playmate junkies than be bothered with the details of North Korea's nuclear program." and:

"Don't make the mistake of dismissing the Smith story as an anomaly; it's a media watershed. If the death of a hapless, doped-up ex-model can knock two wars out of the headlines, there's no end to the squalid possibilities.

We have seen the future, and it's in the gutter."

Anonymous said...

Carl hit the nail on the head. I don't read the paper or listen to the news any more. I 'skim' the happenings looking for the things that may indeed affect my world.

Just give me the facts. My mind is too cluttered to be weighed down with gossip and trash.

This is part of the 'dumbing" down of America. You teach in the schools to the ability of lowest kid in class and in the media, direct your words to the ones who need stimulation and entertainment, rather than those who are educated and wish to digest the facts.

Can we do like the schools and have "Advanced Placement" newspapers and media for adults?

Anonymous said...

I like to receive alot of newspapers even if I don't read them all. It forces me to be exposed to issues, great or small, that are important to my life even if I don't yet know it.

Genius of Despair said...

Can we do like the schools and have "Advanced Placement" newspapers and media for adults?

Anonymous, this is a splendid idea.

Let's wait for the guy with all the strange vowels and consonant placements (Gyllenhaal) and suggest it.