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The end of the mainstream media

By Wayne Dominowski

Sergeant Bluff Advocate (SBA)  Editor Approved of this reprint

          (Sergeant Bluff) - Just read where the mainstream media said they would help Facebook squelch fake news.  Hahahahahahahaha.  The pot calling the kettle black.

          After withstanding one of the dirtiest national political campaigns in over 100 years, the mainstream media expects us to believe they will help clean up Facebook’s fake news epidemic.  How are they going to do it -- by teaching them how to mask opinion as news, fabricating stories, telling lies, and presenting fiction as fact?

          Folks, the media we may have once known -- the one that presented facts and let the listener/reader decide -- died around 30 years ago.  (Then again, it may never have been honest.) Most of us didn’t know it until this past election year.  It just took us that long to figure out that our nation’s one time venerable, Fourth Estate, relegated itself to taking sides, making up stories, twisting the truth and wrapping it all up in fairy tales.

          A short while back, I was asked to talk to an organization about the state of newspapers today.

          One of the questions asked: Are newspapers going to make it financially?

          My response: Yes, I said, and qualified my answer. Weekly and Bi-Weekly newspapers are doing exceedingly well.  Why?  Because they serve their communities.  They write about their communities.  They reflect their communities.  They promote their communities. They love their communities.  They believe they exist to protect their communities.

It’s the dailies that are in deep trouble. 

          I used to look up to the daily newspapers; now, I don’t.  They brought their problems on themselves.  They sold themselves out.  They went ideological instead of remaining pragmatic.

          Here’s an example of big time newspaper falling on its sword.

          Prior to the election, the Des Moines Register endorsed Hillary Clinton.  I don’t remember their reasons other than they didn’t like Donald Trump.  When the Clinton emails hit the fan the second time before the election, the DM Register might have considered recanting their endorsement.  Rather than come out and say they had second thoughts, they chose to remain silent.  They could have gained credibility; instead they lost another opportunity to tell Iowans they made a mistake and apologize.

          Daily newspapers have to get it into their swelled heads that endorsements are a thing of the past.  They came about in America’s early history because very few people had access to candidates.  Newspapers did -- at least more so than the average Joe/Jolene.  Newspapers back in the day endorsed a particular candidate on the latter’s merits.  Those days are over with, and so are endorsements.  They’re meaningless today and carry no weight whatsoever.  Indeed, virtually every daily newspaper in the U.S. endorsed Clinton, while I know of only one that endorsed Trump.

          The major dailies once wielded tremendous influence with their readers, but that was at a time when newspapers actually reported on what they saw, heard and disseminated into a real newspaper story  It was supposed to be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help them, God.  They also stuck with what really was news rather than what they’ve morphed into today… entertainment, spectacle, sensationalism.

          Since when, for example, does George Clooney, Michael Moore, rap singers, millionaires, sports figures, Hollywood elites and talk show commentators know more about what’s good or bad for America than the guy/gal working 60 hours a week to make ends meet, or the senior citizens who worked -- and worked hard -- for everything they have, or the military veterans (especially the Vietnam vets) who fought and returned to a nation that spit on them and called them baby killers, or the man or woman who paid their own way for a college education by working days and schooling at night, or the parents who rear their children by teaching them respect and a solid work ethic…?

          Daily newspapers used to do investigative reporting -- not the witch hunts they do today -- and expose corruption, nepotism, criminal behavior, gangsterisms, and everything and anything that hurt Americans and America.  Daily newspapers at one time were guardians of the public trust, and they jealously guarded that role (and were proud of it, too).

When I think of investigative reporting, I think of Watergate and two exceptional reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who from 1972-1976 worked hard, diligently, and professionally to ultimately expose the Watergate break-in and President Richard Nixon’s role in it.

What is the role of the big-time newspapers today?  Your guess is as good as mine.  I don’t believe they even know what their role is.  They’re lost.

          It used to be that a fledgling newspaper person started off as a “cub reporter.”  He/she worked their way up to reporter and that took time and learning.  Columnists used to be steeped in values, meaning they understood the public they were serving.  Major newspaper columnists today have replaced reliable and truthful resources and attribution to opinions based on feelings and hearsay.

Feature writers saw the person within and wrote about qualities, virtues, perseverance, dedication, honesty, justice, and goodness.  That’s disappeared.  Feature stories today are an exercise in padding and infusing the pronoun “I” and themselves into stories.  No wonder no one reads ‘em. 

          Today, all you need to do is graduate from college and you’ve arrived with your very next step a Pulitzer Prize.  No experience, no understanding, no realization, no ethics.  Experience is gone; amateurism is in.

Is it no wonder no one believes the stuff punched out and pasted on paper?       



Daily Newspapers Avoid Use of the Word ‘Integrity’



Avg. Year-to-Date 1-1-17 Integrity Index Score on Scale of 0 to 1,000 Tops

Sergeant Bluff Advocate


Iowa Weekly


Iowa Daily


Cedar Rapids Gazette


Sioux City Journal


Des Moines Register


Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil


Boston Globe


Los Angeles Times


New York Times


Washington Post


Integrity is Adherence to Moral &  Ethics Principals

Numbers were derived with methods posted on website:     http://www.iowalive.net/deriveopeff.htm   where significant integrity starts at 300.  Evil is 250 and below.  Grand Larceny is 40.

Anyone Claiming to Have Better Numbers is Asked to Provide Them.



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