The most bizarre thing about the John Edwards scandal may be that infamous tabloid The National Enquirer actually broke the news long ago and the mainstream media ignored the story until last week. Is it any wonder so many old-school media companies are in such a sorry state?
To its credit, a New York Times article acknowledged that news agencies (including its own) lapsed, only picking up the story after Disney's
Scorn for The Enquirer seems the underlying theme. Granted, it's hard to take seriously a genre that occasionally covers "news" like werewolf colonies, potatoes that resemble Elvis, or chickens that can peck out Greensleeves in Morse code. The Enquirer is also known for paying its sources, which journalists frown upon (for good reason).
Still, there's major hypocrisy here. The media often regales us about scandals in public figures' "private" lives. The antics of Paris, Britney, and Lindsay are often covered with far more depth than much more serious current events. And what about all the TV programs where somebody hollering about sensational topics passes as news? Whatever happened to world news explained in a calm manner? Crazy, I know.
Media companies' hard times -- as audiences flee to the Internet for more plentiful and diverse content and advertisers find Google
Speaking of the Internet's influence, News Corp.'s
Uh-huh. The "old guard" might want to open its eyes, or the future of news may be pretty bleak -- probably mostly for its own industry, and of course, for these companies' long-suffering shareholders.