Muckrakers (was: Herald: WBZ fires Jonic after FBI story flap)

Bill O'Neill
Thu Aug 4 22:56:00 EDT 2005

Donna writes:

> It goes back to around the turn of the century (as in, late 1890s, early 
> 1900s) and referred to a group of journalists who investigated the 
> excesses of major corporations. (And believe me, when you look at what 
> they investigated, some of the stuff they uncovered was appalling no 
> matter what your personal politics might be.)

<harp sfx> I recall back in college in the early 80s the professor's lean in 
a class I was taking on this subject was definitely the angle that the press 
was out of control. I couldn't buy it. <sfx out>  Settled for a B in the 
course but it was worth it.

<rambling rant mode ON> I suggested then and maintain moreso now that many 
(certainly not all) in the news business are not working hard enough, and 
not working smart enough.  Rip n' read journalism is the stuff that cable 
news channels are made of after you strip away the news babes, hype, 
spin-opinion shows, graphics with big-boy-urgency-crap your pants 
voiceovers.  But, if a plane crashes or if O.J. decides to go for a nice 
road trip again, then you're in clicker heaven.

Newspapers are begging to print one more edition and raise the bar when 
things like the NY Times digs in on a SC Justice candidate's kids' adoption 
history. Journalism that is short-sighted and short-bus.  But it is an 
awkward indicator that someone at the Gray Lady knows what 'digging' 
actually means, for better or for worse.  Misapplied energies and resources. 
And I've not even gotten to what is left of radio news.  I'm going to flip 
on the WCAX  (3) 11 p.m. news. Believe it or not, between them and WPTZ (5) 
I am actually likely to learn something about what happened in Vermont and 
upstate NY after the six went to bed.  And those guys are pulling down less 
than producers in the top 20. Go figure.  <rambling rant mode OFF>

Bill O'Neill 

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