How Journalism is Eating Itself

Ouroboros drawing from a late medieval Byzantine Greek alchemical manuscript.

Ouroboros (from a late medieval Byzantine manuscript).


Now that I have your attention, or the attention of your search engine anyway, I have something to get off my chest. What passes for journalism in our country is a mockery of the word. It has devolved from a public duty to a socially-transmitted disease, and I wonder if our civil society can survive it.

This isn’t anything new, of course. Look at cable news, or the internet. There was once a divide between respectable journalism and so-called scandal sheets. A moat that once encompassed and protected our somewhat functional democracy.

That moat has long ago been breached. All media is now gossip, sensationalism, and an insane quest for more eyeballs and more clicks.

What breached the wall for me? What sent me on this rant today when what passes for journalism in our nation has been rotting for years?


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Bloggerhood Etc. 7/22/13

Protest in Los Angeles

Photo: Ted Soqui/Corbis

This week, I forgo my usual “favorite posts” format to feature some of the best, most moving, and most thought-provoking responses to the recent not-guilty verdict in the case surrounding the tragic death of Trayvon Martin.

“The world is aghast over Trayvon Martin. The US needs to look at itself”
by Deborah Orr in The Guardian.

“Trayvon Martin and the Irony of American Justice” by Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic.

“If our black brothers and sisters are hurting, can’t we at least listen, seek to understand, and mourn with them?” by Eugene Cho at his blog.

“Trayvon and George: A Tale of Two Americas” by Brian McLaren at Sojourners.

“Trayvon Martin and I Ain’t S**t” by Ahmir Questlove Thompson in New York Magazine (Note: includes appropriate use of inappropriate language).

“Racism, Dehumanization, and Trayvon Martin” by Sarah Moon at Sarah Over the Moon.

“Raising Black Boys in America: An Interview With Leroy Barber” at Sojourners.

“Trayvon Martin Could Have Been Me.” President Obama speaks on the case via and YouTube.

But for the grace of God.