Can journalism survive in this era of punditry and attitude? If so, how?

December 2004
Nieman Reports;Winter2004, Vol. 58 Issue 4, p47
This article discusses the results of a survey on the views of journalists on the future of journalism. Surveys of journalists--such as one conducted in May by Pew Research Center and the Project for Excellence in Journalism--are finding echoes of the increasingly critical assessments that members of the public have been giving about news reporting for many years. A large majority of the 547 national and local journalists interviewed believe that profit pressures are seriously hurting news coverage. Nearly half of national journalists say the press is too timid in its reporting, and nearly two-thirds of all the journalists think there are too many cable talk shows on TV. The report cites a crisis of confidence, and Pew's director, Andrew Kohut, said of the survey's findings: The press is an unhappy lot. They do not feel good about our profession in many ways. News coverage is becoming increasingly fragmented. At the same time, journalists find themselves confronting the pressures of economic constraints and the push toward entertainment, with stories of dubious news value trumping those of arguably more importance. In this climate, Nieman Reports decided to depart from its customary examination of coverage of a specific topic and widen our scope to look at the prospects for juntas' future given where things stand today


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