Modern Meditation: Media Isn’t Journalism

I can’t see the line between content marketing and journalism anymore. In the early days of what “content marketing” was, I was selfishly excited for it. I believed I was seeing the evolution of a type of creative expression which would frankly allow me to use my passion of writing in a job that would actually pay me.

Let’s be honest, even before I graduated from college in 2006, the prospect of making a living as a journalism was something most people laughed at. Year after year, we saw staff sizes as the most reputable newspapers and magazines shrink. But somehow, advertising agencies, marketing firms and Public Relations businesses were growing like crazy.

In every journalism class I took in college, I was firmly reminded by my professors the importance of ethics and the necessity to ask hard questions which answered the who, what, when, where and why of the matter. You had to leave out the opinion and slant if you wanted to get any respect among peers.

But the rules have loosened around what people actually consider journalism. Even our president throws around the terminology of “fake news” in response to what he considers to be unfairly biased coverage based on financial or otherwise held private interests. The blade cuts both ways of course. The conversation about news, in terms of how we consume it through social media and share it with one another has become diluted to the point where it feels like true journalism is something which died years ago and has been replaced by something very different.

Though the right to a free press is something which lies in our constitution, the definition of the meaning surrounding that rule is as obscure as the reasons behind the second amendment being upheld amid constantly worsening mass shootings. Old ideas are simply being co-opted for the sake of capitalism and it seems most of the public isn’t the wiser to it.

The pains which need to be taken to write actual journalism are nowhere near the same as what it takes to publish a piece of content marketing. The outcome is also never the same as well.