Some people are perpetually stuck in a vortex, and can never get out.
Because they refuse to admit they are stuck in a vortex.
They find all sorts of garbage to praise as glorious, and argue that the vortex is a beautiful thing, and being stuck in there is a sign of supreme morality...
And they die in the vortex.
If they said, Hey this vortex is horrible, and I made a wrong step! some people may hear them and make fun of them, while others will shake their finger at them for it, or say they deserve it because they ignored their warnings...
But there will always be one person who says, Hey, I was stuck in there, too, but I know how to get out!
And they give a hand, and the person gets out of the Vortex. The two can compare notes to see how never to get stuck again before devising a system not to make the step to do it again, and then other people benefit from it.
This is what a healthy person does. It is also what healthy collectives do.
But if you are in a collective who lives in a vortex, and you know they are wrong to be there, you have to stand up to the collective, and defy them, and get the hell out of there yourself, even if the collective is angry at you for your action that implies they are wrong.
Journalism is stuck in that vortex. It is, for all intents and purposes, its grave.
In a way, this is comedy. It is akin to wearing a blindfold and then falling down stairs, tripping into manure piles, and getting hit by a tricycle, and people say to you, Take off your blindfold!
Now, the rational and wise thing to do is to take off your blindfold. It serves no purpose. You can see things so you do not fall down stairs, get buried in horse dung, or get run over by a trike.
It is the simplest and easiest way to solve all of your problems.
But they won't do it. You have an entire profession wear a blindfold, and then throw a temper tantrum when people tell them to take off the blindfold.
That's why I always admired Tony Benn, and why he is Person #8 of people everyone should know.
He called himself a persistent commoner, but there was nothing common about him. He was always a breath of fresh air.
He was a British politician and he marched in protests. He did not agree with his own government. He asked very tough questions.
Journalism needed more Benns in the profession. They needed people to slap them back to their senses.
If we did, journalism would have been thriving because it would have had the internal mechanisms that ensured the profession was honest about its own failings and how to overcome them perpetually. It needed fresh air and fresh perspective.
It needed people in the profession to laugh at paper crowns, roll their eyes at arrogance, and stand up to peers when they were marching lockstep into that vortex.
If you want to destroy someone, keep praising them, right or wrong.
If you want them to thrive, you are honest about the triumphs, but also the flaws, and obviously journalism never had anyone in their inner circles who truly wanted them to thrive...