With the death of Jack Germond at 85, the great triumvirate of political reporting is now gone. Germond, Robert Novak, and David Broder were the Clay, Calhoun, and Webster of political journalism with their columns and TV commentary, but mostly with their dogged reporting.
In light of the ongoing, slow-motion collapse of the mainstream media, at least one major journalism school has decided to reassess its priorities. Last week, Inside Higher Ed reported that the prestigious Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California is revamping its master’s degree program.
In a statement released this morning, the Newseum announces that it will "re-evaluate" its decision to include two terrorists on its "Journalist Memorial." The Newseum had been planning to honor former members of the terrorist group Hamas, Mahmoud Al-Kumi and Hussam Salama.
An old journalistic axiom holds, “If it bleeds, it leads.” This means that stories of violence—of murder and arson, tornadoes and hurricanes, floods and carnage—always get primary attention in newspapers and on radio and television news. They still do, but coming up fast on the outside, especially on television news, are stories of deep personal sadness. So regular a feature of nightly television news has the spectacle of heartbroken people become that a new axiom is needed: “If it weeps, it keeps.”
Lots of cultural writing these days, in books and magazines and newspapers, relies on the so-called Chump Effect. The Effect is defined by its discoverer, me, as the eagerness of laymen and journalists to swallow whole the claims made by social scientists.
Salon, the online magazine, is looking for a passionate reporter to cover Washington politics. Sounds interesting! Based on this listing from JournalismJobs.com, however, I am urging interested parties to refrain from showing up for the interview carrying a copy of Atlas Shrugged: