16 November 2013

Sun News and sewer journalism

When Sun News hires the infamous Ford brothers to do a TV show, decent people cringe, but they shouldn't be surprised. Aping Fox News, as Sun Media are inclined to do, it is simply pandering to the lowest common denominator, and the Fords are masters at pleasing that crowd.

An argument can be made that even the benighted among us deserve a mass medium that appeals to their passions and prejudices. And certainly in a land where freedom of speech prevails, no one can question the right of media moguls to satisfy those tastes. The question is whether they have to debase journalism in the process.

No matter what demographic you are appealing to, you can try to raise the standard of discourse with knowledgeable and well-reasoned news and views, even if you have to present your content at a grade eight reading level. But that is the perspective from principle. From the perspective of profit regardless of principle, the Rupert Murdoch perspective, it is easier to make money by peddling trash—angry, fear-inducing, hate-filled trash. And thus is journalism dragged into the sewer.

1 comment:

  1. Bill, sounds like you're lamenting the loss of a truly free press in Canada to the ascendant corporate media cartel.

    Sun News does target the 'lowest common denominator' but only because that constitutes the Conservative base. This demographic is also the most readily misled and manipulated. Every study of FOX News bears out these realities.