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So why did journalism fail? One only needs to examine the financial industry’s elaborate programmes to cultivate the media to realise that journalists are confronted with significant conflicts of interest between their job as reporters and individual desires for recognition, access and advancement. Banks lobby journalists in the same way they lobby any other constituency: through measured public affairs departments, conferences and parallel marketing. Good journalism requires access, and there is a whole hierarchy of access, institutional ranks, and so-called information: who gets invited, who is asked to speak as a “media leader”, who attends dinners. How can a journalist resist the machine that treats him so well?
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Estimated cost of the environmental damage caused each year by the world’s 3,000 largest companies:
Two thirds of U.S. teenagers experience uncontrollable rage.
Beekeepers began extracting 1 million honeybees living beneath the siding of a house in New York State.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”