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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 total calories members of Congress burned giving Bush’s 2002 State of the Union standing ovations:
A fertility scientist named Panayiotis Zavos announced that he had created human-cow embryos that were theoretically viable, but denied that he planned to allow such a hybrid to be implanted in a woman’s womb. “We are not trying to create monsters,” he said.
A statistician determined that the five most common first names among New York City taxi drivers are Md, Mohammad, Mohammed, Muhammad, and Mohamed.
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”