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Imus episode reflects Journalism’s lost grip on news 4/12/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Imus, Journalism, Kurtz, Media, News, NYTimes.

The NY Times’ masthead logo “All the news that’s fit to print” dates back to 1896, and reflected an ideal that is obsolete, from another time, elitist, and was never a particularly good idea in the first place. Coined during the time of the worst excesses of the allegedly vulgar and sensationalist “Yellow Journalism” movement, it was a battle cry from the upscale, who demanded the return of news for the “respectable” public. They wanted serious and authoritative news of government and business, not human interest stories or news about crime, violence, sex, and other material designed to titillate their prurient interests. Modern Journalism fully sided with the upscale public, and locked-out other news approaches for roughly a century. However, readers interested in “downscale news” never went away, and ultimately have found outlets for their tastes in People magazine, tabloids, daytime TV talk shows, Cable TV, and most recently, the Internet. So now, despite their ideals, journalists have no choice but to cover Imus and other news that fits the public’s taste, even if it does not fit theirs.


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