Many of Ohio’s newspapers show every day just why they are shrinking as trusted sources to readers who want to be informed but who are regularly disappointed by editors and reporters whose political alliances are anything but neutral and objective.
Gallup reports that fewer than one in four Americans express confidence in newspapers, TV news. Some news folks still pretend that Fifth Estate outfits like Plunderbund are not legitimate news sources, even though the intrepid crew behind the site have broken one big story after another, all to little avail since PB isn’t part of the established but failing media monastary that’s downsized its publications, reduced delivery days while simultaneously reducing newsroom staff and outsourcing work.
Consistently failing to live up to their power of persuasion and influence, the so-called Fourth Estate once vaunted as respected has fallen so far from that grace that some of them are no more than big businesses whose business model banks on the status quo power players who know how to manipulate them like puppets on a string.
As the year ends, legacy print newspapers like the Cleveland Plain Dealer—with a circulation of 367,528—publish gossipy columns on the year’s top stories. A new category of award the Society of Professional Journalists should create, but it won’t so as not to shame or embarrass all the owners, editors and reporters who do a disservice to their readership by misreporting, misleading or obfuscating any number of politically sensitive stories, is the worst action undertaken by its mainstream media membership.
In a two part series listing the top political stories for 2014, the PD’s chief political gossip columnist conveniently overlooked the real top story that has it’s shameful behavior taking place in the waning weeks of the race for governor. Instead of it’s top story of the year, called “FitzGerald’s Flameout,” the Cleveland newspaper, which now only delivers hard copies a couple days a week, should have had at its number one story it’s terrible take down of a video showing a childish, petulant, defensive Gov. John Kasich acting mean and disrespectful to his two gubernatorial challengers. On its Website for a short time, the video was suddenly and without explanation taken down, causing a fury among about everyone except the Big Eight newspapers themselves, who seemed little interested in the shameful actions of one of its own.