“The folks running media outlets — who tend to be even more establishment-oriented than front-line journalists — don’t complain much about the way in which officials control the news because it reduces labor costs. If news managers encouraged reporters routinely to go beyond the canned press releases, briefings, and insider interviews, those reporters would not be able to pump out as many stories as quickly. (I know this not only from research and analysis, but personal experience; for a number of years I was one of those reporters doing the pumping, making my editors happy by providing a reliable flow of stories.)” Robert Jensen —News Media Industry’s Criticism of Iraq Coverage Reveals Deeper Problems with Mainstream Journalists’ Conception of News (Common Dreams)
That title was definitely the work of an academic, not a journalist.
Anyway, Jensen praises Robert Fisk for his refusal to rely on “official” news sources — refusal that leaves him open to attacks by webloggers who are themselves relying on unofficial sources. Just how “unofficial” a source can be and still be meaningful is a battle that’s being fought out in weblogs.
Thanks for the link, Jim.