Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) reminds us that the current crisis in journalism shouldn’t make us romanticise the past:
One thing to keep in mind while worrying about the future of journalism is that its past hasn’t been all that great either.
Journalism ought to be judged not on the profits it makes for stockholders but on the service it provides to democracy. By that measure, the reporting profession has been falling down on the job: Leading us into an aggressive war with evidence based on lies (FAIR Media Advisory, 3/19/07), overlooking an asset bubble whose predictable deflation devastated our economy (Extra!, 11–12/08), failing to raise alarms about the erosion of key civil liberties (Extra!, 5–6/08).
That’s quite a record to miss.