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April 24, 2009

Journalists and the Echo Chamber of Doom

As frightening as the employment scenario is in the media, and in the economy as a whole, I've started to believe that we journalists are, in fact, exacerbating the problem. Obnoxious though it is to quote myself, here's a bit of what I have to say on the subject at True/Slant:

Just as it's bad for the economy when the populace stops spending en masse, it's probably a bad idea for us to freak out on cue, or to incite other people to freak out. Journalists are so worried by the threat to themselves that they see threat everywhere, even where it isn't. It doesn't help that New York, the capital of solipsism and self-dramatization, is also the nation's media capital. News coverage in general, and media coverage in particular, has become an echo chamber of doom.

In arts journalism, we run the additional risk of focusing, or seeming to focus, on the troubles besetting our niche without framing them in the context of the news industry as a whole. We may have been among the first on the chopping block, but we're no longer being singled out. The losses we're suffering are real, and they have real consequences, but the issue is much larger than arts journalism.

Yes, the situation is dismal. Yes, pain is widespread in the economy, the media and arts journalism. But -- however painful the convulsions -- journalism is adapting, not dying. It would be better for us, in covering the media just as in covering the arts, to take a step back once in a while and notice as well what's still standing and the young, green shoots springing up to replace what's been lost.
April 24, 2009 10:33 AM | | Comments (0)

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