News is different from other programming on television or other content in print. It is essential to an informed electorate. And an informed electorate is essential to freedom itself. But as long as corporations to which news gathering is not the primary source of income or expertise get to decide what information about the candidates â€œsells,â€ we are not functioning as well as we could if we had the engaged, skeptical press we deserve.
And the future of news is not bright. Indeed, weâ€™ve heard that CBS may cut its news division, and media consolidation is leading to one-size-fits-all journalism. The state of political campaigning is no better: without a press to push them, candidates whose proposals are not workable avoid the tough questions. All of this leaves voters uncertain about what approach makes the most sense for them. Worse still, it gives us permission to ignore issues and concentrate on things that donâ€™t matter. (Look, the press doesnâ€™t even think there is a difference!)