How media insiders view activists

Journalism professor Jay Rosen has a piece about how much of political journalism has gone astray by focusing their efforts not on educating the voters about what the important issues are but by appealing to those whom they refer to as ‘political junkies’, those who love the gossipy insider game of tactics used by the masters of the game.

This is what led to the cult of the savvy, my term for the ideology and political style that journalists like Chris Cillizza and Mark Halperin spread through their work. The savvy severs any lingering solidarity between journalists as the providers of information, and voters as decision-makers in need of it. The savvy sets up — so it can speak to and cultivate — a third group between these two: close followers of the game. The most common term for them is “political junkies.” The site that Cillizza runs was created by that term. It’s called The Fix because that’s what political junkies need: their fix of inside-the-game news.

In the process, they dismiss political activists, those partisans who really care about issues and want to make a difference but have little interest in who’s up and who’s down. Since these people do not have much patience for political gamesmanship, they are the subject of unending ridicule by these media operatives.


  1. Chiroptera says

    Actually all the media has given up on educating the voters about the issues. Even the “mainstream media” has reduced its political coverage to the “horse race”: instead of informing voters on the possible affects of proposed policy based on the analyses of relevant experts, they spend all their efforts predicting how the proposals and speechifying will affect the votes of various demographic groups who are, without the benefit of the information the media are supposed to be giving them, reacting emotional to the politicians buzz words and dog whistles.

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