Letters to the Editor: Karen Bass won. Rick Caruso conceded. L.A. shows how democracy is done
July 19, 2012
Karen Bass won. Rick Caruso conceded. L.A. shows how democracy is done
I watched President John F. Kennedy’s second inaugural speech at Cooper Union in New York on June 12, 1963, but I don’t think I understood the significance of this event until I lived it: The United States had won the first civil rights battle for blacks, even if it had to put up with a black president whose name I didn’t know.
Karen Bass, 62, won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary Tuesday for a series of columns titled “The Death of American Journalism,” which were mostly about the decline of standards in the news media. Ms. Bass, a longtime commentator, has been an outspoken critic of her profession. In particular, she has said that the news media has become less professional.
“We can’t get the news by the book … What are our standards? What are our standards?” asked Ms. Bass, who is a member of the New York Journalism Review. “It’s time to take a step back and recognize that the news media has become a business.”
I was impressed that Ms. Bass was at least as eloquent as the president.
To say that Ms. Bass is wrong is not an argument. It is a declaration of fact.
I, like her, recognize the decline of standards in journalism because the news media is not the same as it was in the past. There are fewer and fewer of us who have been doing what our parents did: We’re part of the team that takes home the trophy on Sundays.
The decline started with the Internet. The Internet gave us the ability to put our work and voices out there for everyone to see. Now our job is to find out what everyone else is talking about. Our job now is to be the news.
The news media is about more than just delivering our stories. It’s about having the information and the facts and the history that helps our readers make informed judgments and decisions about the world around us.