As I mentioned, I went to hear Salon editor-in-chief and chair David Talbot speak. Boy, was that a waste of ten bucks. I hoped that he might offer some new media insights, some war stories of the dot-com era or, heck, just be an entertaining and engaging speaker. I got zero for three.
He was billed as 'The Last of the Independents' and he lived up to it. He railed against big media, corporate America and Bush. Particularly Bush. Like his magazine, he had nothing to say about Canada, and no insight into the media north of the border. Of course, he was lecturing a university crowd, so he was preaching to the choir.
Most appallingly, however, he had the gall to say of journalism, 'there is no more worthy job in our society.' What? After he finished portraying the current media (and, presumably, those who work within it) as shills to right-wing, corporate America? And what about, I don't know, doctors or politicians or artists or environmentalists or any number of other jobs in society.
It's so typical of the ridiculously high esteem that journalists hold their own profession in. The profession of journalist has fallen as far in the twentieth century as the profession of lawyer. I'm sad to say it, but to be a journalist in the twenty-first century is, for the most part, to tow the party line, to depend on PR people for their stories and to bend, fold and mutilate the truth. It's a shame, but it's the truth.
My rough notes from Mr. Talbot's presentation are here.
Canada Internet Mixed Bag Politics