Journalists Now Want to Tell You What to Think

A journalist friend who started a new job says he likes it because he feels he’s surrounded by really smart people. That’s a change in journalism from when I started years ago. Back then we thought of ourselves as working stiffs—make some phone calls, do some reporting, try to write a clear story.

Most of us became journalists because it wasn’t as boring as most jobs. We weren’t trying to get rich and never expected to be anything but anonymous. The people who wanted real money went to business school or law school.

That began to change with the 1960s and then the Internet. Journalists increasingly began to think we can try to change the world as well as reporting on it. Reporters could become well-known and admired and very well-paid.

Clickbait became the measure of success.

All these changes brought more smart people into journalism. Many went to top colleges and have never lived in anything but big cities.

The changes have isolated big journalism in New York and Washington where journalists applaud one another while most the country ignores us. The result showed up in the 2016 presidential election and probably will again this year.


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