By TOM HONIG
Looking over my previous post about the demise of daily journalism, it would be easy to infer that I was somehow enjoying it. Just the opposite.
The daily news cycle was -- and is -- an effective way to stay informed. It's speedy enough to satisfy the informational needs we all have, but slow enough that it gives the journalist time to actually present a cogent, fact-checked and well-edited report to the public.
But that daily news cycle has been replaced -- by instant messages, tweets and other quick forms of updates. Some new organizations are actually uploading information from police scanners -- those notoriously inaccurate updates that go out over the air before anyone has time to know whether there's any truth to the report.
News today is high speed. And in a world driven by clicks and page views, there's tremendous pressure to put information up immediately and damn the consequences if something isn't right.
The clicks and pageviews are driving journalism, and the consumer -- the reader, the viewer -- is the worse for it. Getting the real story takes time. And time is the one thing that today's journalist doesn't have.
Those of us clicking on stories want to be entertained. So what do we gravitate to? Well, as humans we're drawn to controversy, to splashy headlines, quick reads and maybe an opinion column or two that underscores our already-decided political opinion.
We look at this stuff on our cellphones. Chances are that we're looking at Facebook, and what we're reading is information selected from our friends who are spoon-feeding us opinion pieces that we agree with. There's little chance, for example, that a Democrat will ever see a Facebook post from a conservative source.
Let's pause. After all, this isn't a screed against modern communications and media. Lightning-fast media consumption isn't going away, plus I consume as much of it as anyone. But it's still worth examining what we're doing to ourselves as we continue to do no more than dip a toe into the ocean of information.
An old friend with a background in daily journalism recently sent me her insight, and it's well worth repeating here: