from the doing-less-with-more dept
You regularly see people in the newspaper business, as well as some professional media critics, complaining about the terrible consequences of falling advertising revenues in the mainstream media. There seems to be a worry that as the Internet makes the news business more competitive, traditional media organizations won't be able to afford to do "real" reporting any more. It's not a crazy argument, but more often, the opposite seems to be true. Take the recently-completed Democratic Party convention. Ezra Klein points out that there were a ton of reporters who had to justify their presence at the convention, and so rather than focusing on what was happening on the stage (which they could have just as easily done by watching it on TV) they wandered around looking for trumped-up controversy to cover, giving undue attention (in Ezra's view) to a few disgruntled Clinton supporters. Meanwhile, Matt Yglesias points out that CNN appears to have flown its stars to Denver, put them up in hotels, and constructed an elaborate new set for them, all so they could "cover" the convention in precisely the same way they would have covered it if those same stars had stayed at home in Atlanta or DC. Far from having inadequate resources, on the most high-profile news stories, the mainstream media seems to squander vast sums of money on things that only marginally improve the quality of their coverage. There are a variety of factors that may be undermining the quality of mainstream media coverage, but at the moment, a lack of resources doesn't seem to be among them.