In the 2016 Presidential election, the business of journalism is… business
For those who actually learned a little about history, the Constitution, and the value of journalism as a checks and balance on government power, they will be shocked to find out that at the upcoming Republican and Democratic conventions, news reporting on the presidential campaigns will be sold to the highest bidder.
Forget the fact that media outlets like Fox News, MSNBC, and CBS have made a small fortune on ad revenues sold by covering Donald Trump since their viewership’s have skyrocketed just to try to catch a glimpse of the ultimate outsider. Â No, in today’s corporate media, where journalism is all about ratings, sensationalism, and profits, a new report out on July 4th no less finds that several publications will be demanding payment from the newsmakers themselves to run articles and features during the Republican and Democratic conventions.
Several prominent Western news outlets including The Economist, The Atlantic, The Hill, and Politico are placing news coverage upÂ for sale atÂ the Democratic and Republican Conventions because who really needs the 4th estate ofÂ government holding leaders accountable duringÂ a time when the two leading presidential candidates are either underÂ FBI investigation or are calling forÂ a ban onÂ a religious group?
These outlets who often wax poetically aboutÂ the independence ofÂ Western media decided toÂ give upÂ hiding the fact that they are captured byÂ wealthy special interests. As Lee Fang wrote inÂ a July 1 article forÂ The Intercept:
“For high-rolling special interests looking toÂ make an impression atÂ the presidential conventions next month, one option is toÂ pay a lot ofÂ money toÂ a media outlet. Lobbyists forÂ the oil industry, forÂ instance, are picking upÂ the tab forÂ leading Beltway publications toÂ host energy policy discussions atÂ the convention, including The Atlantic and Politico.”
Not toÂ be outdone, The Hill, a Beltway political rag is offering special interviews withÂ editorial staffers and promotional coverage atÂ the convention toÂ those able toÂ drop 9 times the median salary ofÂ the American worker inÂ one foul swoop.
The Hill promises ‘sponsors,’ atÂ a cost of $200,000 per head, convention interviews withÂ The Hill editorial board for “up toÂ three named executives or organization representatives ofÂ your choice,” according toÂ their brochure. “These interviews are pieces ofÂ earned media and will be hosted onÂ a dedicated page onÂ thehill.com and promoted acrossÂ The Hillâs digital and social media channels.” – Sputnik News
Now, is it any wonder that public trust in the media has fallen to an all-time low of just 11%?
Journalism has turned the most important election in America into a reality television show, where they attempt to program the masses into paying attention to scandal and hyperbole rather than the issues that will soon affect their lives dependent upon who wins the Oval Office in November. Â And since journalism is now as big or even bigger than many corporate industries, perhaps it is time to look at its Constitutional protections as the gatekeeper to truth, and instead separate those that honestly report the news from those that are little more than entertainment and propaganda.
Kenneth Schortgen JrÂ isÂ a writer forÂ Secretsofthefed.com,Â Examiner.com,Roguemoney.net, and To the Death Media, and hostsÂ the popularÂ web blog,Â The Daily Economist.Â Ken can alsoÂ be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on theÂ Angel Clark radio show.