Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Dark Days in Journalism

I get so annoyed with mass media so often ( I've always been annoyed with much of broadcast journalism, but in the last couple of years print and internet journalism have been veering so much towards tabloid "infotainment" that they are not much better if not worse).

Case in point: Mary Kate f*cking Olsen can now write for The New York Times Ok, granted it is in the style magazine, not the news section or anything and it is about purses, but still. I'm sure they are more informed voices and journalists who might have something more interesting to say than "I like my red Chanel bag the best." Journalists who worked their whole careers to get a Times byline can take solace in the fact that a 20 year old child star got there before them.

The direction that journalism seems to be taking in this country isn't the most disheartening however, the fact that something like this is still happening in the world. Journalists being jailed, tortured and even murdered is nothing new, but there are several things that are especially disturbing about this: The underwhelming reactions to not only his conviction but the fact that prison sentences for journalists had allegedly been abolished in Egypt. And the lukewarm threats: "you shouldn't be able to host a fourm in two years now" oooh, that will show them..

All of this in addition to the hundreds of media jobs that have been cut in New York in the last couple of months- it's all almost enough to make a person lose their wide-eyed idealism. Almost.