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Fri Oct 23, 2020, 11:22 AM

Washington Post public editor: the powerful have realized they don't need the Post

RussiaRussiaRussiaHat Retweeted

Saying the quiet part out loud about media vs. tech:

"The internet in general—and social media platforms in particular—have destroyed one of the media’s most important sources of power: being the only place that could offer access to an audience."



Washington Post public editor: the powerful have realized they don’t need the Post

By Hamilton Nolan
OCTOBER 20, 2020

THIS MONTH we learned that Tesla, a $400 billion public company run by one of the richest people in the world, has done away with its media relations department—effectively formalizing an informal policy of ignoring reporters. Though we should all be grateful for the chance to hear less about Tesla, we should also recognize this for what it is: one more glaring data point showing that powerful people no longer think they need the mainstream press, especially critical and ethical outlets like the Washington Post. ... This presents a problem. Because the mainstream press still needs powerful people—quite literally, in the case of the Post, as it’s owned by the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, who is no fonder of difficult stories about his companies than any other billionaire.

We are living through a historic, technology-fueled shift in the balance of power between the media and its subjects. The subjects are winning. The internet in general—and social media platforms in particular—have destroyed one of the media’s most important sources of power: being the only place that could offer access to an audience. When Musk can say whatever he wants to 40 million Twitter followers at any time with no filter, it is little surprise that he does not feel compelled to listen to unpleasant questions from some reporter who wants to know why he busts unions and wildly accuses people of pedophilia.

As journalists, we all view this as a horrifying assault on the public’s right to know, and on our own status as brave defenders of the public good. And that is all true, for what it’s worth. But this is about power. We need to take some back, lest the rich and powerful run away from one of the last forces restraining them.

Because journalism, particularly at the highest level, is about raw power. It is about bringing important people to heel, on behalf of the public. Politicians and officials and business leaders don’t want to talk to the press, subjecting themselves to the possibility of being made to look bad; they do it because they have always felt they had no choice. They felt that way because papers like the Post could offer the carrot of great exposure to those who needed it, but also, always, the stick of negative coverage to those who spurned it. There is nothing devious or ignoble about this; a powerful press, for all its flaws, is good for democracy, and tends to promote equality by holding the big shots in check. Anyone who has ever negotiated to land a contentious interview with a famous person knows that you only get those interviews when your subject fears what will happen if they don’t do the interview. Today, that fear is disappearing. We all need to figure out what to do about that.

"Trump’s incredible accumulation of power in the face of countless well-documented scandal stories is a proof of concept that will surely be used by smarter characters in the future."

{snip}

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Reply Washington Post public editor: the powerful have realized they don't need the Post (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Oct 23 OP
TreasonousBastard Oct 23 #1

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Oct 23, 2020, 11:47 AM

1. Truer words... Truer words... And, on another front, if Walter Cronkite were alive today, he would..

be trashed by all sides, each finding something, however trivial, to beat him up over.

The last truth will be on our tombstone-- "We have met the enemy and it is us."

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