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News of the private sector, where most Americans live their lives, returns after a century of government-centric news 10/31/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in BusinessNews.

At the end of the era of “Yellow Journalism” in the early 20th century, there was a backlash against the sensational and whimsical nature of news. The elites thought this type of news was beneath them, while journalists had developed a professional image beneath everybody. So a movement began that recast journalists as heroes of democracy — courageous public servants who could change the world by providing a pure stream of truth to the ignorant masses. And the most direct way for journalists to change the world was to attach themselves to powerful politicians and focus on the machinations of government.

That all sounded fine, but there was one thing they overlooked. Government is not what America is about, and it is not what the lives of most Americans are about. Most of us live our lives in the private sector, where we have jobs, earn money, buy things, purchase insurance, save, and take care of our families. But, as Jon Ham has pointed out, “Except for the advertising, a newspaper reader from another planet would never know there was a private sector,” as we are subjected mostly to the daily activities of the President, Congress, and groups claiming victimhood seeking government action. Emerging New Media initiatives like Fox Business Channel, Conde Nast Portfolio, and Slate’s new venture are now rushing to fill this century-old void. Finally, news outlets will be making our business their business.


1. Walter Abbott - 11/1/07

Here in Louisiana, the reporters that cover State Government have offices in the basement of the State Capitol Building. You know, the one built by Huey Long.

In my opinion, those reporters cannot objectively report on the politicians that work in the same building as they. Even if they pay the going rate for office space – which I doubt they do – it is a clear conflict.

They are all merely factotums for government.

2. Dave Bertelsen - 11/1/07

The more egregious example is having a government sponsered news agency. NPR and PBS are clearly have conflicts.

3. Ed Driscoll.com - 11/1/07

The Pitch Remains The Same

While styles of advertising have changed radically over the decades, its structures rarely do. In print, many of today’s most successful direct response ads are based on concepts that date back to at least the 1920s. And regarding TV ads,…

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