Why a Better Mass Media Is Not to be Expected
10 March 2016 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
While I criticize the mass media, the truth is not much more is to be expected. The sad truth is the number people in any society -- from ancient Periclean Athens to the civilized centers of society today -- who have sufficiently good taste or care seriously enough about intellect and ideas -- to support a much better mass media simply doesn't exist. The key reason is the media reflects those who consume it. On average, they lack the interest, intellectual ability, education and concern to demand and support a better media than what we have. The numbers simply aren't there.
This is a lamentable state for intellectuals and others who could take good advantage of a better media, but it is simply the truth of the matter. The media reflects the consuming general public at large, in its intellectual, educational, taste and institutional failures. It is naive to expect much more, as much as some of us might wish for it. Our media is inclined, if not to our lowest common denominator of taste and intellect, at least to something approximating it, although not quite so bad.
The media, being corporate controlled, and the object of a profit motive, has no reason or incentive to do better to satisfy an intellectual and better educated fringe. Better reporters who would do better are more expense and increase costs and reduce profits. More inept, less able reporters will do and will reduce costs relatively. So why not? The masses do not complain. They are the target market. So why bother? Ignorance and poorer performance support higher profits.
Much more is not to be expected.