If it is broken, why won't we fix it? Discovering that there are other ways of finding facts other than journalism.
Journalism is a strange profession that has an uncanny knack of never understanding when it is being played.
A faded actor curses during a fading awards show -- a canned event used as a marketing tool to promote products (in this case, theatre plays), and he gets way too much press coverage for it, even though the ratings for the show are down to almost nothing.
A cheap and easy publicity stunt that requires no talent? Of course it is. It is not actually newsworthy in that it affects no one.
How many homeless people curse at passersby on the streets, and everyone ignores those people because it is too frightening to contemplate how easy it is to join their ranks?
Robert DeNiro's outburst didn't impress me. If a homeless man uttered the same words, I could not just understand why he said it, but agree with him.
DeNiro is a rich old fat cat who had his day. He can rail against a president all he wants, but he has free time on his hands, had a sterling career, and has clout and pull; so instead of hurling empty words that actually reach no one who is without a home -- or cannot watch the Tonys because they are being abused at home by a maniac he or she is related to and is a hostage in a democracy -- why doesn't he do something real, as in do something that would show tangible and real results?
Because he is just going through the motions that had an impact in a bygone era.
Once upon a time, that would have been controversial and shocking. Journalists would pick up on it, and report it, and there would be pundits debating it, meaning people on the street would debate it, too.
Except these days, it is white noise, and people forget all about it, as they should.
Journalism lost its humanity a long time ago. It used to tell you about the dangers that were not always obvious, but when it sounded the alarm, it made a difference.
The news didn't hurl insults at people in power. They didn't swear. They provided facts and witnesses, and those were what told the story and outlined the dangers without the melodrama, and the "look at me!" nonsense that is all the rage these days.
Journalism is broken because it started to look for cheap and easy options, and then when the Internet came, anyone could do it, and so, journalists began to compete with the rest of society.
They got lost in the white noise they helped create by taking the easy route.
I don't care what wealthy Establishment actors think. They have their publicists, lawyers, maids, lovers, and assistants clean up their messes as they live in a bubble the vast majority of people will never see.
There are kids right now who don't get fed, and if they do, it is through a school program, but once school is out, so is their regular meal.
I care what they think and think about themselves.
Journalism is broken because they ignore those kinds of uncomfortable tragedies that we have become immune to because we lose our focus because the press tells us how important the cursing of has-been actors is to know.
We have so few facts to guide us. How many homeless people are in your city? How many beds at the shelters? How many sick people are walking around getting worse because they actually have no idea they have cancer or HIV, and have small children who will lose their parent because they are asymptomatic and are letting something critical get away from them?
Journalism failed society. The never tell you where they really get their information: usually, a press release someone passes out to them.
But we go through the motions because once upon a time, journalism used to be a thing, and it has become a habit that has no core anymore.
So why do we go through those motions?
Did you tune out because the news never spoke to you? Was it because they never understood people with your skin colour, gender, age, sexual orientation, or economic status?
Did it ever occur to you that perhaps journalism had the monopoly on that kind of information dissemination?
I did. I did because I was a journalist who went into the profession for one reason: to conduct experiments in order to study the profession.
And I saw the deficits. I would pitch certain articles, with some kinds of stories always getting shot down because it didn't fit with the perception of reality outlets wanted to portray.
After I spent years in the industry, I left to write books about the problems, and until a year or so ago, I always had an idea that journalism could be fixed.
But not anymore. It cannot be fixed.
Because it is a monopoly of sorts.
So then I started thinking about creating an alternative to it. Something fresh and made from scratch. As an artist, I do not take someone else's artwork and tweak it in order to "fix" it.
I make my own creations; and so, the revelation hit me: if I don't meddle in other people's work, then I shouldn't try the same with journalism.
We have seen the results of that kind of interference.