Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I think you're right, journalists do use flattery to set people up. But they have, in the past, pursued such stories only if a) they don't upset their advertisers and b) if they don't test the loyalty of a major part of their audience. (B is a product sold to A)

However the last 2 years have seen major problems arise for both the print and broadcast industries. Newspapers have seen year on year declines of up to 10% in circulation and this can be seen in demise of the Finnish newsprint mills. Mainstream TV channels have seen a similar dissipation of their audiences and falls in ad revenue.

They've come up with 3 solutions: go downmarket, get interactive or put up firewalls/monetize some content. Or all three. One and Three are not going to work for the mainstream media: catering to pond life is a dead end street, and, as we are all aware, hiding content that was previously available for free only works if you have a monopoly on the content.

Solution number 2 leads to the 'setting them up for a fall' method which you point out. The online versions of the msm think that by polarizing their audiences in setting up celebrity and shooting it down, they will create a lively debate among different sections of their audience. What they get is acres and acres of uninformed and tiresome ranting = another dead end street.

It's all about celebrity today: politicians, CEOs, and heads of state have joined the traditional celebs. It is a weird and unprecedented mass obsession. I really don't know where it will lead, but it won't be a good place.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 07:29:00 AM EST
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