The latest edition of Skeptic Magazine has an incredible article proving the author's case that "broadcast journalism is flawed in such a fundamental way that its utility as a tool for informing viewers is almost nil."
Here's a preview:
We think we know Big Journalism’s faults by its much ballyhooed lapses — its scandals, gaffes, and breakdowns — as well as by a recent spate of insider tell-alls. When Dan Rather goes public with a sensational expose based on bogus documents; when the Atlanta Journal Constitution wrongly labels Richard Jewell the Olympic Park bomber; when Dateline resorts to rigging explosive charges to the gas tanks of "unsafe" trucks that, in Dateline’s prior tests, stubbornly refused to explode on their own; when the New York Times' Jayson Blair scoops other reporters working the same story by quoting sources who don't exist … We see these incidents as atypical, the exceptions that prove the rule.
Sadly, we’re mistaken. To argue that a decided sloppiness has crept into journalism or that the media have been “hijacked by [insert least favorite political agenda]” badly misses the real point; it suggests that all we need to do to fix things is filter out the gratuitous political spin or rig the ship to run a bit tighter. In truth, today’s system of news delivery is an enterprise whose procedures, protocols, and underlying assumptions all but guarantee that it cannot succeed at its self described mission. Broadcast journalism in particular is flawed in such a fundamental way that its utility as a tool for illuminating life, let alone interpreting it, is almost nil.