Bryan Keefer doesn’t like what’s being offered as "news" from the major media organizations and he thinks that most young people in the US don’t either.
To be blunt, the mainstream media don’t give my generation what we want. We want the news and we want it now, of course — we’re spoiled that way. But more than anything, we want the entire story; not just the he said/she said, not just the latest factoid, but the truth.
To me and others raised in our media-saturated environment, where 24-hour cable news and Internet access bring us more information than we can possibly digest, the mainstream media seem trapped in the age of "All the President’s Men." They’re still wedded to outdated ambitions like getting the "scoop" or maintaining a veneer of objectivity, both of which are concepts that have been superseded by technology.
Keefer is a co-founder and writer for Spinsanity which does a pretty good job of pointing out some of the flaws in the spin coming from both sides. In this article he argues that in this day of instant news reporting on the twenty-four cable outlets and the Internet, there is still a place for traditional newspapers and magazines (and probably the network news organizations). A place, that is, if they abandon the concept of the "scoop" and concentrate instead on providing the extended context and analysis that is difficult for cable.
I’m not part of the WB’s target audience as is Keefer but I feel the same way. The talking-heads channels barely get around to actually reporting the facts on any but the highest profile stories (not necessarily the most important). "Analysis" comes from a rotating collection of spokespeople from very partisan groups and context is completely out of the question. Keefer notes the fact checking done by blogs but few of these sites have the resources to do any actual research or give meaning to the jumble of facts surrounding an issue.
The bottom line is that it’s not just young people who are turning away from the mainstream media. There are many of us who would like to better understand the complex issues we’re faced with and feel as if we can form an informed opinion. Maybe if the big news organizations had been doing their job, we wouldn’t have been suckered into a major mess in Iraq.