The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

What has happened to Journalism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/1/2015 Category: News
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 532 times Debate No: 70863
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




For the past year or so it has been nearly impossible to find "real" news.....TV, Radio, newspapers, social media seem to be intent on reporting on the most outrageous news articles and celebrity coverage. Just saying......there are everyday terrific news about regular people and causes....maybe too boring for the mass readers, etc. Your thoughts people?


I accept the debate, looking forward to a substantive debate.

Debate Round No. 1


judibug forfeited this round.


Even though my opponent forfeited the last round but it is incumbent to make a couple of points to justify a victory.

Print Today = Same as Yesterday [First Argument]

First, I sympathize with the general precepts espoused by the other side, yet there is little reason to believe there has been a substantial transformation in the kind of stories that circulate on the front pages of newspapers including major publications such as New York Times and Washington Post. Implicit in the critique from Pro is the idea sensationalism or the notion that vacuous drivel reigns supreme and not only that but somehow that this is an aberration to the business.

[Profit and Circulation: A Brief Explanation for First Argument]

Con would like to point out sensationalism in the news is a perennial part of American and international news. There are several obvious reasons: most media organizations are also subsidiaries of gigantic multinational corporations. Therefore, profitability then is an obvious factor in the collection, writing, and distribution of news.

[Specific Examples to Substantiate First Arguments: Yellow Journalism]

In American journalism, there is a long history of sensationalism; one readily available and widely known phrase in our shared history is Yellow Journalism. Yellow Journalism exemplifies the despicable depths by which Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst were willing to descend to increase profits and circulation. Below I provided a caption of the two men along with another of a front page story, one that as you can see shows a nude women searched by police. Obviously, the story is sell sex not substance.

[I will delay other arguments until it is clear whether my opponent is going to participate].

Debate Round No. 2


judibug forfeited this round.


Okay, so my opponent forfeited the last round as well. However, I will provide a couple of recent examples of reporting that do not conform or fit in the celebrity-saturated bent of news.

Examples against Pro: (1) James Risen (The New York Times)

I will keep this brief but I would include James Risen at the The New York Times for his reporting on Operation Merlin, where the CIA provided flawed nuclear weapons blueprints to a Russian intermediary that would provide the faculty plans to Iranian scientist working on their alleged nuclear weapons program. However, the problem was the flaws were so easy to detect that the Russian contact immediately spotted them and pointed it out to Iranian scientists, thereby aided Iran rather than thwarting their progress. Not only, did the CIA’s plans backfire but instead of admitting the mistake, the government immediately pursued charges against Risen starting around 2008, only to be dropped in the last several months.

Examples against Pro (2): Glenn Greenwald & Laura Poitras reporting of the NSA:

Greenwald and Poitras shared the Pulitzer Prize for their exposés in the worldwide electronic surveillance program, and the leaking of documents pertaining to Edward Snowden. Recently, Poitras’s documentary won the Oscar for Best Documentary feature for her Citizenfour documenting her and Greenwald’s initial rendezvous with Snowden in Hong Kong and the subsequent backlash by the US government and other powerful organizations. There is very little to add because their reporting on Snowden blanketed the news cycle for almost an entire year and continued this year with Citizenfour.

Examples against Pro (3): Matt Taibbi’s financial reporting

Taibbi has continues to write several overlooked pieces into the fine points behind the 2009 financial crisis as well as the continued chicanery endemic to US and international markets. Notable or infamous among his pieces—depending on your perspective—was “The Great American Bubble Machine” published in the July 2009 edition of Rolling Stone magazine. For those familiar with Taibbi, you will undoubtedly recall his pithy personification of Goldman Sachs as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

Anyway, there is really not much for voters to assess given the twin forfeitures of Pro. I have meet the standard needed to win just by making arguments every round and providing a modicum of effort. Please vote Con.

Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Nele21 1 year ago
Journalism has always, always, been biased! It didn't just happen the last year or two. Look at yellow-journalism that occurred in the later 19th century, which made its content so biased and distorted that it essentially began the Spanish-American War. Or the muckrakers of the early 20th century, who endeavored to expose the highly rampant political and economic corruption that occurred at that time. The muckrakers then became the "watchdogs" of politics and economics, just as it is today. I could honestly go on and on giving historical references (like the Watergate scandal). It's impossible for the the media to be objective; then their content wouldn't sell.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: ff