A word from the wise

'The real horror, to me, lies in the fact that there is absolutely no vehicle in American journalism for the kind of "sensitive" and "intellectual" and essentially moral/merciless reporting that we all understand is necessary - not only for the survival of good journalism in this country, but also for the dying idea that you can walk up to a newsstand (or a mag-rack in Missoula) and find something that will tell you what's really happening ... or at least what a certain group of editors honestly believe is happening, based on whatever mix of truth & facts & madness they've managed to rip out of the mire.

What is happening all around us (or at least around me - and I travel a lot) is a sort of tandem nightmare in which there are fewer and fewer examples of the kind of journalism you say is necessary... and meanwhile more and more people are using that scarcity as an excuse or maybe even a good reason to turn their backs (or heads) on journalism entirely. The people I deal with most often - for good or ill- simply don't relate to newspapers & magazines. They might scan a daily paper for something specific - something they're looking for - but the idea of reading the daily paper for news or general information, as I do, simply doesn't occur to them. A lot of them read the paper, but it's more for amusement than wisdom.'

Hunter S Thompson, in a letter to Tom Wicker, New York Times Washington Bereau Chief. June 18th, 1971.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how indifference is a constant in our social paradigm.