The rise of new media has produced too much “advocacy journalism” according to Larry Atkins a journalist and attorney.
From Huffington Post
Over the past 15 years, as newspaper circulation has declined, more and more people are turning to advocacy journalism via websites, talk radio, cable TV, and blogs to get their news. …
Advocacy journalists do not set out to inform; they set out to advance an agenda, whether it be conservative or liberal. While FOX News and conservative talk radio show hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are the worst offenders, liberal television hosts like Al Sharpton and Rachel Maddow also fall into this category. They are all giving their opinion and reporting news with a goal and a biased agenda.
In light of the explosion of media outlets ranging from cable news outlets, talk radio, blogs, and websites, we need to be more savvy news consumers. As I tell my journalism students, it’s important to consider the source of the information before we make our judgments.
Atkins is both right and wrong.
Neither Rush Limbaugh nor Rachel Maddow are journalists, and have been known to omit facts to push their point of view.
However, Atkins longs for the good old days that never really existed, of The New York Times setting the agenda and Walter Cronkite telling America, “That’s the way it is.” Today we know that establishment media had their own agenda and framed debates in one way.
So the public should be more savvy news consumers and always consider the source of information. That’s always been the case. What’s better about today than Atkins’ mythical yesteryear is that an alternative media has produced multiple sources to check both politicians and media.
To learn more about how talk radio established a successful commercial model for the exploding alternative media universe of today, read The Right Frequency.