THE DECLINE OF THE MIGHTY MSMBruce Kesler
explains why reporting from Iraq remains schizophrenic, scattered, scanty, obtuse and negative:" A correspondent in Mosul, Iraq, Michael Yon, recently wrote: "Finding or generating news can be costly ... the media squeezes news cheaply from Iraq." Yon describes, step-by-step, how actual news dispatches are created. Yon points out that with rare exception, the media condenses military action reports into collections of one-line U.S. casualty lists ending with the latest cumulative death count. Yon observes, "a consequence of these media releases is that they allow the press to appear omnipresent on the battlefield, when in fact they usually stay close to the Green Zone in Baghdad." Yon continues: "The math is easy: Send a dozen journalists to Iraq, or hire one cheaply to live in Baghdad. The media gets a bargain rate on instant credibility from their 'embedded journalist in the heart of the Sunni Triangle,' who spends a few minutes a day paraphrasing media releases, then heads downstairs for a beer at the hotel bar.....The declining market of the leading media is rooted in the twin niche-ditch digging of alienating its customers by being so markedly more liberal in political and social viewpoints and from resulting corporate cost-saving providing a shabby product. It is difficult to see working harder at coordination with society's other most liberal constituency in academia as meeting the most pressing challenges for journalism's successful reform. In the '70s, General Motors kept its engineers in Detroit, while Nissan attracted engineers to Southern California. Today, GM has half the market share it once had, and Nissan's innovative designs increased its market share. "
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