Dylan Byers writes:
…with every election cycle, campaigns are further battening down the hatches, setting precedents of media control that ultimately render the media powerless to do anything but wait at the mercy of a scripted quote, like dogs waiting for scraps.
He’s right. And I think it’s far beyond time for journalists to stop begging for access, and compromising their reporting for access - because access isn’t necessary. “Insiders” are servants who are blinded to their servitude by their illusion of privilege at being allowed “inside.”
A good journalist not only doesn’t need to be an “insider,” but shouldn’t be. I.F. Stone, that great progenitor of what in the Internet age is called “citizen journalism,” took pride in not having any more access than any other citizen, and still doing essential reporting. It is time for journalists to turn away from the politicians’ chambers, and focus on aggressive, meticulous digging into public records. Until politicians fear the media, because the media serves the public, there will be no democracy.