the new journalism?

This has been forecast for some time now: PR writers out muscling journalists. to what extent is this aided and abetted by technology? Is this a socio-technical situation?? Or is the press failing to remain a competitive industry?

This from Propublica:

…Barstow realized as he glanced across the crowd, most of the people busily scribbling notes in the room were not there to ask questions. They were there to answer them.

“You would go into these hearings and there would be more PR people representing these big players than there were reporters, sometimes by a factor of two or three,” Barstow said. “There were platoons of PR people.”

An investigative reporter for The New York Times, Barstow has written several big stories about the shoving match between the media and public relations in what eventually becomes the national dialogue. As the crowd at the hearing clearly showed, the game has been changing.

“The muscles of journalism are weakening and the muscles of public relations are bulking up — as if they were on steroids,” he says.

via PR Industry Fills Vacuum Left by Shrinking Newsrooms – ProPublica.

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