Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Communications union offers sobering analysis of news biz

Maybe it's human nature to avert the eyes when facing a disturbing sight, but when the state of the news media is what's disturbing, it's unhealthy for citizens in a democracy to ignore it.

For journalists and journalism students, the disturbance is an eye-opener.

First, the bad news: "Small wonder if the charge to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted seems quaint," writes Andy Zipser, editor of The Guild Reporter, "or if rhetoric about a free press being essential to democracy sounds tinny."

The Guild Reporter is a monthly published by the Communications Workers of America/Newspaper Guild -- the labor union representing tens of thousands of employees at newsrooms, wire services, networks and other media outlets. In a recent issue Zipser blended statistics, observations, comments and insights from Bill Moyers and others in a sort of call to arms about the news media.

"Journalism's challenge," he says," is to see what's really important -- and then to report it."

Unfortunately, that doesn't matter to some people. Read Zipser's whole piece here -- http://www.newsguild.org/gr/index.php?ID=3548

Tomorrow's post: there's good news, too.

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