State of the art
: The Project for Excellence in Journalism has its new report on the state of media, 2005. It is, once again, big and will take time to digest. So start chewing. Its five ubertrends:
1. There are now several models of journalism, and the trajectory increasingly is toward those that are faster, looser, and cheaper.
2. The rise in partisanship of news consumption and the notion that people have retreated to their ideological corners for news has been widely exaggerated.
3. To adapt, journalism may have to move in the direction of making its work more transparent and more expert, and of widening the scope of its searchlight.
4. Despite the new demands, there is more evidence than ever that the mainstream media are investing only cautiously in building new audiences.
5. The three broadcast network news divisions face their most important moment of transition in decades.
There’s this, too:
The problem is that the traditional media are leaving it to technology companies – like Google – and to individuals and entrepreneurs – like bloggers – to explore and innovate on the Internet. The risk is that traditional journalism will cede to such competitors both the new technology and the audience that is building there.
: Howie Kurtz highlights this:
In covering the Iraq war last year, 73 percent of the stories on Fox News included the opinions of the anchors and journalists reporting them, a new study says.
By contrast, 29 percent of the war reports on MSNBC and 2 percent of those on CNN included the journalists’ own views.
And when you combine those stats with the ratings, what do we conclude? Perhaps that the priesthood doesn’t approve of opinions, but the audience does.
And, by the way, as I was listening to Lou Dobbs on CNN (via Sirius) tonight — returning from an on-air visit with the opinonated Larry Kudlow — I heard him give clear opinions and you know what? It’s a welcome change. At the too-oft-afore-mentioned Harvard confab, we said it’s time to call bullshit bullshit.