Tuesday, September 2, 2008

to catch a credible journalist

Let's face it- When was the last time you saw a special investigative piece that wasn't hosted by Chris Hansen?

The biggest problem facing young journalists today is quality. 

Instead of fulfilling their obligation to educate and inform the public, many news organizations serve us with commercialized fare. Out with the foreign bureaus and investigative pieces, more room for celebrities, sports and weather.

The Los Angeles Times, once of the most well-respected papers in the nation, now reads like a supermarket tabloid as opposed to an esteemed paper.

Staff cutbacks have made it increasingly difficult for papers to maintain widespread coverage. With their focus now on profit as opposed to public interest, news organizations are desperately searching for ways to make revenue online and increase circulation. 

The most popular news program airs on comedy central- not cnn. Steve Colbert and John Stewart have shown Americans that news, itself, can be a form of entertainment.  People want to be entertained, and in order to keep viewers tuned in, the quality of journalism has suffered. Britney Spear's latest stint in rehab is the top story on ABC and E!

Jennifer Smith is a print journalism major at the University of Southern California. She enjoys drinking soy vanilla lattes, wearing brightly colored cotton clothing, and playing with her golden retriever.

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