Where does journalism come from?

There’s a good blog post over at the Altantic by Conor Friedersdorf, as part of a broader discussion of what’s wrong with American journalism.

But there’s an excellent point that he makes in closing, which I think is more fundamental:

Journalistic reforms can and should improve media in various ways; but some flaws are better explained by business imperatives, as well as the American mainstream’s patronage of bad journalism.

As Lindsey Tanner argued in his book Sideshow: Dumbing down democracy (the book itself was somewhat long-winded and short on substance – but I like its central point) that media and politicians are responsible for some failings, but the fundamental driver for behaviour is often what consumers and citizens do.


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