Write for Love, Not Money? Journalists Appalled

Something quite extraordinary has been happening on Twitter. Corporate journalists have gone into meltdown after two British media analysts – known as Media Lens – tweeted some friendly advice to idealistic youngsters contemplating a career in journalism.

Twitter is a social media forum much loved by corporate journalists – probably because media training hones their skills at pithy aphorisms and putdowns, especially of those who criticise them, that work well in Twitter’s confined format. In a battle of tweetbites, the corporate journalist is king.

But the outpouring of indignation from these journalists at a little bit of advice from Media Lens must be unprecedented.

What’s most notable is that until now tweets from Media Lens, or their much longer and more complex alerts on their website, have rarely attracted interest or acknowledgment from the chief targets of their analysis – big-name journalists working for the media corporations.

There is good reason. Media Lens promote the Propaganda Model, developed by the late Ed Herman and Noam Chomsky in their book Manufacturing Consent. In short, Media Lens argue that the corporate media – and the journalists who work for it – are enforcers of a narrow spectrum of ideological orthodoxy that promotes the interests of corporate wealth and power.

It may look as if there is a wide range of views in the western media – it does look that way to the corporate journalists themselves – but, in fact,…

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