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Media trust, pre-talk radio

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by WaylonJennings, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. I'm too young to remember an era without Rush Limbaugh and his ilk polluting the airwaves.

    Wondering, from some of the vets on the board, how much you think the rhetoric of guys like him - on both sides of the political spectrum - have eroded distrust in the American mainstream media.

    For example, all I hear about is what a shitty liberal rag the NY Times is. But yesterday, I pick it up and find, among other things, 1. A story about the China-Tibet tension that goes almost out of its way to balance China's side of things, 2. The dubious McCain moment (Al Qaeda in Iran) buried on A15, and on and on and on. As far as the meat of the A-section went, it was extremely well-reported and balanced.

    Before guys like Rush were around, did people bitch and moan about media bias every day? Before sites like Rivals.com and comments on the end of stories, did people threaten college sports beat writers who wrote unflattering stories about their school? Or did they instead find interest in the subject matter itself and not try to analyze how the sausage was made so much.

    What was it like 20, 30 years ago compared to today?
     
  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Jayson Blair has had more of an impact on media trust than Rush or anyone else on talk radio...
     
  3. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    In my experience, college sports fans have been nuts for as long as I've been involved in journalism, especially if that college dominates the sports scene in that market (no major pro sports). People were threatened on a paper I worked on in the early 1980s.

    I don't think talk radio has helped, but our culture began losing respect for all authority figures and institutions during the 1960s and 1970s. What hasn't lost respect of the public -- presidents, clergy, big business, academia, medicine, entertainers/athletes, unions, the military, immigration, parents, law enforcement, good manners, dressing nicely, basic literacy and, yes, the news media?
     
  4. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    I grew up in the 80s, when talk radio first boomed. It just seems to me, and I could be way off-base on this (just a theory), that the reduction of equal-time laws also fueled the rise of talk radio.
     
  5. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Any time you have the ability to find your version of the truth somewhere instead of THE truth, mistrust will grow.

    It's why, as Newsweek pointed out in an essay a few years ago, Watergate could not happen today.
     
  6. Bill Brasky

    Bill Brasky Active Member

    Not only has the public's respect for institutions been eroded, but the media landscape has become so fragmented. In a way that's good, that customers have more choices, but in a way that's bad, that some of their choices are junk. Reading BLOGS! as part of a well balanced media diet is fine, but Lord, you certainly shouldn't try to get all of your news from those places. It would help to read a New York Times article that someone is referring to, or listen to an Obama speech than just the sections that some chowderhead pulls out.
    I'm hoping that this increased political polarization dies out after November and some of these angry kooks go off the stage. I don't see where McCain or Obama has much of a stomach for it, which is good.
     
  7. OTD

    OTD Active Member

    I assume you mean by that that Woodward and Bernstein wouldn't be able to get the story today, or that no one would pay attention. This administration has buried way worse things than bugging an office suite in its seven years.
     
  8. It's amazing that to this day, so many readers -- and I mean many with a decent level of sophistication -- don't understand that columnists are supposed to have opinions. They criticize columns because they are not objective. ... I've spoken with many friends who are intelligent, well-versed and worldly, and they still don't realize that.

    I think each newspaper needs a disclaimer next to every column --- WARNING: The guy/girl in the photo of this story may actually have an opinion.
     
  9. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    Had a long, heated, postgame locker-room dialogue with an eventual Hall of Famer who believed that the first sentence of every columnist's work, every time, should begin with "In my opinion ..." Either that, he said, or the words "In My Opinion" should be printed immediately below the columnist's mug and name. Short of that, he felt the press was misrepresenting and unfair.
     
  10. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    "Nattering nabobs of negativism."

    -- Crook Agnew

    Goes further back than that, but there is nothing new, under the sun.
     
  11. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Oh, they would be able to get the story.

    But the right-wing noise chamber would discredit it as being much ado about nothing . . . and every mistake by Woodstein would be pounced on as an example of "why you can't believe ANYTHING they write" . . . and their backgrounds would be dissected to see if there was any evidence of an agenda (previous dealings/friendships with Democrats).

    Yes, this administration has buried many things, but many things it did not bury (Plame-gate, firing of federal prosecutors, warrentless wiretapping, presidential signing statements) are just ignored.
     
  12. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Then have a cup. On me.

    If anything, I would say the current new media world – which includes talk radio and, yes, blogs, makes it a damned sight harder for "mainstream" outlets to grind their various axes without being called to account.

    But I would think that, I suppose.

    Because there is no liberal media bias. Nossir. Nothing to see here, move along.
     
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