Leaving the Ways of the 80s behind for ‘Infotainment’

It’s always interesting to compare the past with the present. Oh how far we have come in technology, education, and even in fashion choices. In some of my past blogs I have been comparing the past with future in relation to media and here I go yet again. The article “Learning to Love the New Media” by James Fallows we had to read this week provided me with an even deeper look into that difference between media of today’s world and of yesterday’s.

The 1980’s was a great era of journalistic integrity. These news outlets reported on what they thought the public needed to know in a practically unbiased way. This time period gave birth to the famous names of broadcast history such as Walter Cronkite and David Brinkley. Fallows refers to this as “Eden of journalism” untouched from the sin of the apple which he referred to as being unknowledgeable “that we could become profit centers.”

As technology advances we have more outlets to get our media from. With more and more outlets and companies emerging in the competing market the market will start to tailor its content to what the viewer wants. The more viewers a news website or television news station gets, the more revenue is brought in. When it comes down to it, every business is in the business to make money.

The word infotainment has been used to describe the media world today. The majority of the public is no longer interested in what the Florida senator is doing unless the senator is doing a young female dancer. When it comes down to it, news is fast and made to excite as well as inform, because the viewer/reader is looking for what they want in that sort of infotainment package.

It is no doubt that media is changing before our very eyes. Journalism will never be what it once was in the 80s and is something that we are going to have to get used to. The fast-paced media environment that is causing the shift in news content is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

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