Jon Friedman‘s latest Marketwatch column is a good one. In framing what he thinks it still takes to be a good journalist, he laments the fact that many of his Stony Brook journalism students are fixated on the glittery sheen of the boob tube:
When I asked my students last semester what they hoped to do in their careers, the majority said they wanted to be on television. (The most honest of them declared they wanted to be TV stars, not so much for the big bucks but since it just seemed so darned cool to be on TV!) None of them said he or she hoped to be a link in the chain to the late, great Edward R. Murrow. (Who?)
It’s not my students’ fault that TV news today has taken on the mentality of the fabulous 1976 film Network (a movie most of them had never heard of, much less seen). It’s all about flash and pizzazz. News and entertainment are so blurred that it’s hard to tell them apart.