Rupert Murdoch takes a sharp hatchet to the idea that a government bailout of media would be a good idea. He goes so far as to say that the government stepping in to help would be more damaging than the Internet or any other disruptive technology.
So far so good.
But then there was a part I found quite chilling:
First, media companies need to give people the news they want. I can’t tell you how many papers I have visited where they have a wall of journalism prizes—and a rapidly declining circulation. This tells me the editors are producing news for themselves—instead of news that is relevant to their customers.
Give people the news that they want? While this sounds like it makes perfect sense and I can certainly see how the idea has been applied at Fox News Corp., I’m afraid that while the public knows what it wants and likes, it might not always know what it needs.
The kind of journalism that digs deep into the affairs of the rich and powerful or brings new information to light, the kind of journalism that wins those prizes that Murdoch refers to in such a derisive manner, that kind of journalism is often not what the average Joe is demanding in his daily paper or on his daily newscast. But do that kind of journalism we must and thus the business of media cannot become entirely consumer driven lest it lose its soul completely.