What’s the Matter with the “Liberal Press”?

Image of man at news stand.

Image by Filip Mishevski.

David Ignatius, a long-time Washington Post columnist on military intelligence topics, probably never dreamed his newspaper would fill over three full pages serializing his latest work of thrilling fiction, “The Tao of Deception.” On June 28, 2023, the “Breaking news and latest headlines” in the A section of the paper featured the first installment. Part II appeared today, Friday, June 30th.

What’s occurring at the Washington Post, the New York Times and big regional daily newspapers is a flight toward stupefying their material in a desperate plunge to retain readers – print and online. Maybe surveys show a tsunami of aliteracy from the rising iPhone generations.

To adjust to digital age readers, the New York Times has replaced much of its content with gigantic photographs, graphics and other visuals, not just in its regular sections on style/arts, sports and food, but also in the daily news departments as well as the Sunday Business and Opinion sections.

The influential New York Times Editorial Page – once featuring some fifteen or more editorials a week – is now down to three editorials a week. Moreover, this space is now largely taken up by a handful of regular opinion columnists, many predictably redundant and tired. Imagine a historic newspaper intentionally diminishing its editorial advice to this country. There is no precedent.

It gets worse. Various forms of its daily features – entertainment, sports and style/arts – are given enormous space, while coverage of daily local and national civic activity is severely restricted. What used to be reported about the findings, litigation, lobbying and regulatory advocacy of national citizen groups in the nineteen sixties and seventies – leading to major betterment of consumer, worker and environmental health and safety – now is sharply curtailed. As a result, good members of Congress, seeing virtually no news coverage of vital citizen concerns, become indifferent to necessary public hearings and legislation essential to addressing the needs of the public.


Categories: Media

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