Why I Started this Blog
I left journalism in 2000. I felt journalism was at a crucial crossroads at that time. Consider this time line:
1998 – Two Standford grads creates something called Google.
2001 – Google profits from their search engine.
2004 – Google bouyed by search revenue, mostly from advertising dollars, of more than $900 million goes public.
2009 – The Rocky Mountain News became for first newspaper with more than a 1 million readers to fold.
Newspapers fold everyday but not major newspapers. Historians will point to Google, and the ensuing popularity of Internet advertising as the catalyst for the newspaper demise. In some sense they will be correct. But that’s just superficial cause. The real reason is what happened in 1996.
That’s when an investigative reporter at Newsweek magazine pitched a story to his superiors about a White House intern who was the subject of a federal perjury investigation. The story was spiked. But the next day the story about Monica Lewinsky and President Bill Clinton did get reported – on the Internet. Matt Drudge, of a low-level D.C. gossip online rag called drudgerport.com had learned of the Newsweek story. He reported it and well, the proverbial genie was let out of the bottle.FOX news started a year later in 1997.
No longer was the Fourth Estate the domain of mainstream publications and newsshows. The Drudgereport’s news aggregator Web site grew to garner 3.4 million unique hits a day, incidentally seven times more than Newsweek’s 3 million weekly subscribers.
Though many people point to online information sites like Drudge’s as parasites – publishing links to stories of other media – Drudge became famous when he BROKE news not when he repeated it.
This is a telling tale. Because newspapers and major publicaitons efused to entertain a diversity of opinions, settled for mediocrity in reporting, became spoon-fed regurgitators their audience lost respect for them. Then later, this audience transferred the authority that went with that respect to the blogasphere and online publications, like Drudge’s. Here is the rub. While news outlets sporting alternative coverage pressured mainstream media no one held them accountable. Drudge has been sued for printing immflammatory statements in his “Devoloping,” stories section.
So I started this blog as a fact-checker of sorts on news released elsewhere. My disdain for mainstream reporting has less to do with ideology and more to do with work ethic. No one will be safe. Not online journalists or high-powered investagtive reporters. I’m tired of not having what I know out there for the public to choose.
We are making way to many policy decision based upon incomplete, illogical and downright bad information. This blog will try to cu through the fog to represent the facts on some of the most controversial issues in our body politic. Find facts on history, politics, the media and culture. Hopefully you will enjoy.