Broder: shame and embarrassment at the media’s performance

Washington Post columnist David Broder took a heartfelt and honest look inside the world of journalism over the weekend. In “The Media, Losing Their Way,” Broder writes of the CBS and New York Times scandals and blames, among other things, management.

The common feature — and the disturbing fact — is that none of these damaging failures would have occurred had senior journalists not been blind to the fact that the standards in their organizations were being fatally compromised.

We need to be asking why this collapse has taken place.

My suspicion is that it stems from a widespread loss of confidence in both the values of journalism and the economic viability of the news business.

A part of the management problem, he writes, is that hard work is no longer the path to success in journalism.
The way to the top of journalism was no longer to test yourself on police beats and city hall assignments, under the skeptical gaze of editors who demanded precision in writing and careful weighing of evidence. It was to make a reputation as a clever wordsmith, a feisty advocate, a belligerent or beguiling political personality, and then market yourself to the media.
This is an interesting article, if for no other reason than it comes from David Broder, a man I have respected for years. Beating competition has become journalism’s core, he says, adding that bloggers have added to the frenzy.


  1. I used to admire Broder too, say, back in 1972. Since then he’s just an extension of the DNC. And his journalism apologia completely misses the point(s). He blames Old Media’s shortcomings on pressure to compete with the new irresponsible media. It’s becoming clear that the Old Media may have been irresponsible for longer than we ever suspected.

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