Friday, March 10, 2017

Why is Media Dead? It's the Deadline.

By now, some of you have read my recap of Disney's 2017 shareholder meeting.  As I was leaving the meeting, I noticed an L.A. Times reporter taking one short interview while recording with his mobile phone.  I said I was from California, too, and asked him what he thought of Iger's half-arsed response to my question about unpaid student-athletes.  He brushed me off, saying he had a deadline to meet and could only interview one person.

I later looked at his "reporting" of the event.  Not a single thought-provoking sentence existed.  Even where the CEO had whiffed, the reporter complimented Disney's CEO for taking an array of diverse questions. Most of his "work" included tweets during the event and a few short articles published later serving as indirect advertising for Disney's upcoming movies.

I should have known better--the L.A. Times is in Disney's backyard, and it's doubtful Disney would advertise with it if the Times published any criticism.  As for the reporter himself, his prior work involved the seedy underbelly of becoming "famous" in La La Land.  His significant contributions to the annals of knowledge were revelations that 1) talent agencies require photoshoots and other expensive portfolio work, often steering clients to favored vendors; and 2) when paid from modeling or other shoots, the money is sent to the agent in escrow rather than the actor directly, allowing opportunities for fraud.  In other words, no real expertise in economics; media programming; and the stock market.  Throw in immediate deadlines with a lack of expertise on the topics being covered, and you can see the problem: reporters regurgitate content in ways that promote advertising opportunities, eyeballs, or consumer demand rather than substance.

People wonder why American democracy is in decline or no longer working.  It's not that hard to figure out.  Why read anything in mainstream media when it's almost all pablum and when the mainstream "opposition" is comedy that mocks rather than provide substantive knowledge?  It's as if we never really left good ol' England.  The media, government, and multinationals are still holding court over the peasants, and the jesters are the only ones able to tell the truth.

Bonus: "40% of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year." -- Steve Jobs in 2008.

And yet, almost every kid has read Harry Potter.  It's not that people don't like to read--they just don't like reading crap.  

No comments: