Professional journalism has been disappearing over the past several decades.
Professional journalism, the unbiased reporting of factual information that can be verified by sources, is essential if our political process and decisions are to be based on facts instead of opinions. Journalism is supposed to serve as a check and balance against those who attempt to manipulate people and processes for their own ends, even when that conflicts with the truth and serving the greater good.
Much of this is the result of cultural changes. The explosion of digital technologies which connect everyone in the world to each other have completely changed where people get their “news”.
Perhaps the gravest consequence of that is that traditional media sources have been forced to reduce their reporting staffs significantly, since the number of people who buy newspapers and news magazines has declined dramatically. The actual numbers of people who still read articles from newspapers online means actual readership hasn’t fallen as dramatically as actual paper sales, but income has declined.
In other words, we no longer support journalists–those who do the work required to fully research ideas, and have the skills and perspective to put that in context.
Currently this is glaringly obvious in the U.S. Presidential campaign reporting. The Republican race is a whole different issue, but on the Democratic side, almost every sentence I read states Hilary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee. It is NOT the point that I support Bernie Sanders. What is the point is that, even though he has always led in New Hampshire and is now tied in Iowa, and polls much better than Clinton against all of the Republicans, all you have to do is read the “news” to see the truth of this.
This was what most of us feared when the media went for sale to the highest bidder.