I have been reading a couple of "woe is us" pieces regarding the press in China: about one reporter for BuzzFeed who was forced out by means of a denial of a visa renewal, and another how one journalist left because of all of the constraints of the job.
I find it interesting that we don't talk about more horrifying examples in other places.
Or how journalists have been co-opted by special interests.
There is always the selfless martyr narrative in these sob stories, never a step back and logical and realistic analysis at why journalism has always been so undisciplined and sloppy.
There is quote in the second article I found interesting:
News assistants often play the role of middlemen between various government agencies and the media organizations who employ us.
Assistants. Often played. Why would someone who serves as a liaison be an assistant? That would be more important than the mere relayer of information.
But it is the often played the hints at the chaos that destroyed a profession. There are no hard and fast rules.
And for all the self-congratulations of stories broken, they have done less than nothing for the world or the profession. Your work is making things worse, not better. More people are tuning out. Corrupt regimes get stronger. Journalists dither too in love with scraps they expose, never questioning why they have no system or method to entrench themselves.
As a profession, journalism never matured because their core was always rotten and you cannot build on a rotten core. You need a separate stream of people who do this work in order for it to properly function.
But it was never a sophisticated machine. It was always primitive and backwards, trying to use flimsy wallpaper to cover up the problems. The problem is everything has collapsed, and no one cares about the bold pattern on the wallpaper at all...