by Roger Roots
Mainstream journalism is in its death throes. In the information age, consumers just won’t pay for tired news content extolling the virtues of big-government establishment institutions. ‘Mainstream news’ is becoming so marginalized that it isn’t even, well . . . mainstream anymore. It is the voice of a small minority of elitist central planners.
And virtually every adversarial inquiry into the funding behind mainstream (generally meaning government supporting and supported) journalism has found that much mainstream journalism is secretly bought and paid for by government agencies.
As mainstream news institutions are shedding hundreds of jobs, the backlash in news rooms centers around claims that independent media upstarts are “unprofessional,” purveyors of conspiracy theories or even sources of “fake news.”
But now mainstream news’ loudest gatekeeper, who is publishing a book called “Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts,” is identified as a two-bit plagiarist and a downright sloppy reporter.
Jill Abramson attacks and condemns modern alternative news sources as scandalous, simplistic and headline obsessed. She insists on “standards” and laments the job-hunting difficulties of Columbia School of Journalism grads.
But according to Michael Moynihan of Vice, Abramson’s book is little more than a collection of stolen paragraphs, unchecked sources and outright untruths.
“The irony here,” according to Sean Illing of VOX, “is impossible to miss: a book that talks at length about journalistic ethics and praises legacy media titans like the New York Times and the Washington Post while lambasting new media companies like Vice and BuzzFeed for sloppy reporting that is, well, filled with errors and what appears to be very sloppy reporting.”