What we are witnessing is not just a collapse of media standards, mutating by a combination of churnalism, heightened political tribalism, diminishing budgets and advanced tabloidisation, but a cycle of 24 Hour News and ‘new’ social media competition.
“News” today often doesn’t feel like news. It feels like a bunch of grifter “columnists” trying to work the biggest crowd they can find into a frenzy, so they can advance their own profiles and line their own pockets. Once they find their niche, they just rinse and repeat with the next “outrage.”
Remember when the worst thing you could say about the news was that it was “boring”?
But if ‘the media is the problem’ and it is in need of deep structural reform and restructuring – both in terms of the dismantling of huge anti-democratic power bases – and in terms of the creation of a credible empowered 5th Estate as a matter of course – it is also reflective of wider societal and cultural problems. That is people being incapable of seeing beyond their own narrow interests and views, lacking empathy and understanding, viciously tribalistic and polarised and seemingly unable to communicate.