Is corporate media finally getting a clue?
The Washington Post fired reporter Felicia Sonmez after a days-long public furor over a colleague retweeting a goofy joke.
She portrayed her crusade — which called out numerous colleagues and continued for days after her initial target got a month-long suspension — as an effort against systemic oppression. But her newsroom bosses (and presumably owner Jeff Bezos) finally had enough of her narcissistic theater and defiance of their clear social-media policy.
Then take media giant Gannett’s decision to scale back on its opinion pages company-wide. The publisher of USA Today and papers across the nation, say a committee of editors, found that readers “perceive us as having a biased agenda” and “don’t believe we have the expertise to tell anyone what to think on most issues.”
In other words, the big guys realized that the journalist class is deeply out of touch with the people who actually read papers.
Even CNN — the network that turned Trump hysteria into a brand — seemingly has gotten the drift. New boss Chris Licht is reportedly taking a hard look at the partisan personalities that drove coverage during the Trump years, in advance of reining them in.
It doesn’t take a journalism degree to see why: People turn to journalists for facts.
They don’t need endless explainers and tendentious warnings about “context.” They don’t want self-admiring moral crusaders to shout alarmist nonsense about racial justice and Russian collusion, COVID and critical race theory.
And they’re more than perceptive enough to notice when those same crusaders try to stifle stories that make the politicos they do favor look bad (as with inflation, or when The New York Times buries the Kavanaugh assassination plot on page A20).
Reporters and their editors have a simple, very difficult job: to find out the truth and publish it.
When the industry became convinced that its job was to tell readers what to think, and how, and when, it started to destroy its own credibility. The vast majority of Americans now have little to no trust in the media to report the news accurately and fairly, per Gallup.
And rightly so.
The sooner journos get back to their roots in actual news, the quicker that trust will come back. So good for The Washington Post, Gannett and Licht. But they have a lot more work ahead.
By: Ny Post