One is how much more influential the media has grown to become, first with television news shows, then 24-hour cable and now with the Internet and Twitter. The second is how much better so-called newsmakers have become at influencing what is written and broadcast to the public. In many ways I feel journalistic ventures have become “common carriers,” printing whatever newsmakers say — even if they know them to be untrue or inflammatory — just because the person involved was willing to be quoted and because such stories generate readers, viewers and, these days, hits on the Web. The third is that the current competitive rush to be first in both breaking news and slick commentary is leaving behind the facts related to the complex issues of our time. Facts seem to be taking a back seat to arguments and slogans in what’s written and shown. That means the public is left to make up their minds on important subjects by choosing between arguments without knowing much about the facts that may or may not underlie them. In short, we have been moved further into a PR society and, sadly, public relations has become a key part of government and our politics.
A farewell to The Washington Post – The Washington Post