On the morning before NPR announced its internal review of its leftist purge of Juan Williams for appearing on The O'Reilly Factor, media reporter David Folkenflik was "reporting" that the problem with the American news media is its painful lack of bias. Come again? "Mainstream news reporters don't tell you what they think enough of the time." That came from the star of the Folkenflik story, journalism professor Jay Rosen, a favorite of Bill Moyers. On the website, the story was headlined: "American Media's True Ideology? Avoiding One."
Anchor Steve Inskeep began: Yesterday on this program, we heard a story from London about the boisterous world of British newspapers and how they, unlike their American counterparts, openly embrace a point of view. Today, NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik brings us an influential media critic who argues that mainstream American journalists do cling to their own ideology. It's not exactly on the right, not exactly on the left. He calls it the voice from nowhere."
It's not hard to imagine that Jay Rosen is "influential" in liberal media circles when he tells them they're not being liberal enough for him. Folkenflik set up his theory and his hopes and dreams for more bias:
It appears that the Huffington Post isn’t just upsetting people for its often uncouth and liberal take on the day’s news. Now people are getting irritated with its willingness to reprint other outlet’s content while offering minimal credit.
“This follows, in a way, the model of national Internet news aggregators like Huffington Post,” Downie said. “They confine their costs to minimal staffing necessary to operate the websites and edit content.”
Bemoaning the decline in advertising for newspapers, two leading media figures, in a report from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, the bastion of establishment liberal journalism, call for taxpayer spending on the news media, advocating that public radio and television be “substantially reoriented” to “provide significant local news reporting” and for the creation of a “a national Fund for Local News” paid by “fees the Federal Communications Commission collects from or could impose on telecom users, broadcast licensees or Internet service providers.”
American society must now take some collective responsibility for supporting news reporting -- as society has, at much greater expense, for public education, health care, scientific advancement and cultural preservation, through varying combinations of philanthropy, subsidy and government policy. It may not be essential to save or promote any particular news medium, including print newspapers. What is paramount is preserving independent, original, credible reporting, whether or not it is profitable, and regardless of the medium in which it appears.