A journalist’s twin points of references should be the real and the important. But, for months, the focus of the coverage of the presidential elections in the United States has been on trivia, writes Gabor Steingart in Der Spiegel, thus misleading the American public.
Instead of addressing important issues of war and peace, health and globalisation that stares Americans in the eye, the American media, writes Steingart, has been dishing up the dirt on Barack Obama‘s lapel pins and pastor, John McCain‘s mistress, Hillary Clinton‘s Bosnia trip goofup.
“One cannot blame the journalists alone for the decline of journalism. Their importance has diminished more than in any other previous election. They now share newspaper pages and TV broadcasting time with people who call themselves strategists or consultants and who are either in the pay of a party now, or have been in the past….
“Style triumphs over substance, which in the end reflects back on the journalists themselves. Reporters who claim that the decisive criterion of an election is whether the candidate is able to “inspire the American people” should not be surprised if similarly stiff demands are placed on them. That may not be nice, but it’s fair.”
Read the full article: The media’s mini-truths