The change in journalism

I respond to your Editorial headlined Avoiding the media and recall the greats of journalism of yesteryear, (Holder, Cozier and several others – including the said Editor Emeritus himself) and can validate what Harold Hoyte says. However, the environment has significantly changed. Previously, and especially in the case of the printed page, the daily press was as essential as our morning cup of tea. One was guided and educated by the editorials; informed by a rich palette of news; and entertained by wide contributions from a cultural menu. All part of the critical process of forming useful citizens out of “clay”.

The wider media environment changed forever with the arrival of Brass Tacks and Tell it like it is. While of a different delivery channel – and flavour – this was still journalism, with a potent sting in the tail, to bring egregious behaviour (both public and private) back into line!

Change has continued, and the wider Internet and social media, now simultaneously offer a delectable feast to vast expanse of “customers”; a vastly enriched opportunity for every “connected” citizen to now both contribute, and to “consume”.

And unfortunately, a bitter cup to the Press editors and publishers, who must be scrambling to harvest declining ad revenue and keep the presses turning. True, there is a lot of garbage being presented on the web; factoids masquerading as fact; opinions sans any justification; and a welter of noxious garbage which we strive to shield our kids from.

However, the tide (like Thatcher) is not for turning, and we must bravely and resolutely face the slings, arrows, and opportunities of the new media. We now have to encourage good citizens to contribute to the work of the “new journalism”, and to somehow make this a part of the daily lives of our young people, so that they will continue to be enriched, guided, and shaped into fine citizens, with the spirit and character and ability to ensure the future of our country.

We owe this to those who served with great distinction in journalism, when they rose to defend not just Press Freedom, but freedom itself. Thank you Gladstone, Jimmy, Clennel, et al. And hey! Tip de hat also to the said ‘meritus ‘arold, (whose pen remaineth full) and the new boy pun de block – BeeTeeDotBeeBee.

– Tony Webster

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