The Columbia Journalism Review has issued its list of the worst journalism of 2014. Despite the popular focus on how terrible the Big 3 cable news channels are, the article emphasizes that hack-level reporting can pop up anywhere. Network, print, even outlets I rather enjoy, like Grantland, and New York, who failed to stick the year-end landing and got played by a bunch of teenagers for their December feature.
I feel bad for these outlets- who either produce good, analytical journalism, or used to, or are Fox News. In all of them there are great professionals with the education and experience to produce great work, but they are often stymied by executives and a suffocating business culture.
Though investigative journalism has fallen on hard times, it is great to see outlets like the Center for Investigative Reporting out. The corporate cronyism and corruption is still there, as it was in the days of the original muckrakers. All that’s needed are smart people, funds to keep them going, and a desire to do the unsexy work that leads to big, need-to-know stories. And for the love of god, no clickbait please.