My Dream of a Media Watchdog

I enjoyed this clip. It’s short and doesn’t go into enough detail, but I liked the comparisons made.

I’d appreciate a show entirely about keeping tabs on the media:

  • showing which stories reported and not reported by which news outlets and why
  • doing investigative journalism into who owns and manages each news outlet, the financial ties, the political donations
  • offering detailed biographies of all the major players working in media
  • comparing mainstream media to alternative media, US media to foreign media
  • pointing out the themes across all media and ferreting out attempts at propaganda
  • explaining historical info about stories beyond the mere superficialities of events and explaining how such stories have been reported in the past
  • analyzing how different schools train journalists, how journalists perceive themselves, and how journalists are treated by governments
  • ascertaining what makes good journalism and ethical journalism, comparing when journalism succeeds to when it fails
  • offering interviews with experts on media, propaganda, advertising, and astroturf
  • looking at the demographic data of the media and of viewers
  • exploring the field of polling, considering the public opinion about media and how the media reports on public opinion

The media, of course, loves to talk about the media. But usually that is just media people attacking other media people and ranting about who is better. I don’t care about those kinds of pissing tests. What I’d like to see is intelligent and well informed commentary such as seen with Noam Chomsky.

Not short segments.
Not video clips with little context.
Not sound bytes.
Not mere opinionating.
Not just a platform for talking points.
Not just simplistic portrayals of left vs right.
Not false equivalency presented as fairness.
Not just reacting to what is popular at the moment.

I want high quality investigative journalism, detailed analysis, long panel discussions, professional debates, et cetera. There is so much info out there and so many agendas. It would be nice to have one outlet that had the single purpose of sorting through all of it in order to determine the actual facts.

There are media watchdog websites like FAIR, but I want something that is a more major operation. It would be difficult to do. It might have to follow a non-profit model or at least an alternative media model. The Young Turks is the biggest internet news show that built up its audience without initially having any advertisers, just making profit through membership fees. My idea of a major media watchdog would probably be most likely to succeed if it targeted an international audience, along with content targeted for more specific audiences. If they offered a high enough quality product, people would be willing to pay for it. Also, they could build their brand by working together and combining resources with other alternative media, especially when doing major investigative journalism projects.

I’m sure such a thing is unlikely to ever exist, but it’s nice to dream.


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