Once upon a time when the world was young and had hope, and global warming, the one per cent and social media hadn't yet been invented, there truly was a golden age for TV news in North America. Could Microsoft bring that golden age back since its split from MSNBC?
Today, graduates of journalism school see the profession as just that: a job. A paycheque. A security. They do what they're told to do. They're not journalists; they're employees. They don't buck the corporate system. They're part of it. Newsrooms are turning into mere offices.
At a recent gathering of longtime journalists, the talk got around to how journalists were ranked way down there in public esteem with lawyers and politicians. A colleague claimed that's because our fellow citizens don't understand what we do. "Bullshit," growled the oldest member.
It couldn't have come at a better time. Right after the brutal $115-million budget cut -- while its enemies bash it for opacity and profligacy and its friends laud it as sacred Canadiana -- the network has a triumphant evening.
Traditional professional journalism is taking a beating these days. When challenged, both left and right sneer at is as "mainstream journalism," implying that its somehow tainted because it's general interest, rather than some rabidly one-sided screed. So allow me to answer back.