March 6, 2007, - 12:13 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
USA Today media and journalism critic Peter Johnson finally noticed something we’ve seen all along: advocacy journalism–biased, one-sided news coverage with an agenda–is predominant, today:
The “social journalism” that made Oprah Winfrey an international fairy godmother is the new rage in network and cable news, and it’s expanding to other media.
Increasingly, journalists and talk-show hosts want to “own” a niche issue or problem, find ways to solve it and be associated with making this world a better place, as Winfrey has done with obesity, literacy and, most recently, education by founding a girls school in South Africa.
Experts say the competitive landscape, the need to be different and to keep eyeballs returning, is driving this trend, along with a genuine desire from some anchors and reporters to do good.
Wrong. Reporters don’t care about doing good. Neither does Oprah. They care about you thinking they’re doing good. It’s all about PR for their image. And they care about advancing their own agendas.
Nothing positive about that.
Not sure how Oprah’s endless self-promotion of how she spent millions on a school in South Africa, suddenly makes her “own” the “education niche.” Puh-leeze.
She does own the trumpet-my-own-horn niche. But that’s not “journalism.”
Tags: Debbie Schlussel, obesity, Oprah Winfrey, Peter Johnson, South Africa, USA Today