Last week’s bombing and the search for the bombers kept many of us glued to the news, with constant updates on TV, radio, news web pages, and social media . But with all this immediacy comes split-second mistakes that seem to reverberate exponentially, leading some media watchers to call this the Age of Retraction. But others say such errors are nothing new, and there are definite pluses to this proliferation of information.
From the Newtown shootings to the Boston marathon bombings, the last year has seen no shortage of tragic acts of violence that have dominated news coverage. But one story appeared as no more than a blip on the national news radar: that of a neighborhood mother’s day parade in New Orleans, where shots were fired and 19 people were wounded. Two suspects were arrested late last week, but for days, the incident stood as the largest mass shooting in the United States with perpetrators still at large – so why weren’t we bombarded with media coverage? Our guest is David Dennis Jr., a journalist and New Orleans native who wrote about the issue for the UK Guardian.
After every errant tweet from another major news outlet, or the announcement of fresh layoffs from another print newsroom, many shake their heads and talk about the good old days, before false reports of WMD’s and internet news aggregators. We remember a time when Edward R. Murrow and other icons of objectivity were our revered national watchdogs, serving up the truth...one newspaper column or TV broadcast at a time. But what if our idealistic view of American journalism's "golden age" is nothing but a nostalgic myth? Todd Gitlin teaches journalism and communications at Columbia University. His recent article “The Myth of Journalism’s Golden Age” was recently featured in the Utne Reader.