Journalism’s collapse is a self-created one.
We have debates on whether “atonement essays” are being unfairly targeted, let alone that people who are predators are not owed wiggle room to be absolved from their untrustworthy behaviour — nor are they actually owed a lofty career. That is a privilege, not a right.
But the timing of these pieces all came at once. Predators are predictable in their behaviours, and they are always jockeying to get back because they think that they are entitled to that career, with a disturbing and significant percentage working in communications and journalism.
But the kicker is that there is never any “atoning” done, just making excuses, and wallowing.
Fire the predators, but with a subtle promise to give them a chance to lay low, and a year later, get to use these outlets to re-invent your image, but the public is having none of it, even if they are not reading or watching you in the first place.
The element of denial and willful blindness in the profession is still doggedly there.
Perhaps a billionaire or two will buy up an outlet as a vanity project, throw money at it, and then maybe everything will be good again.
Except the audiences are not coming back, the products haven’t changed, and the fact that the Establishment robber barons are buying their tax write offs haven’t done a thing for journalism.
No redemption and no saviours. Just the same delusions that kept journalism from genuinely reinventing itself.
The same hopeful thinking can’t be the baggage brought into an alternative. If you want to chronicle reality to see the truth in your profession, you have to start with yourself first…