Monbiot Still Can't Admit Media's Core Problem
Publisher: Jonathan Cook
Date Written: 14/06/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21079
After more than two decades at the Guardian, George Monbiot has finally written a column in which he concedes that the entire British media has a problem, including its supposedly left-liberal elements like the Guardian.
His column argues that the Guardian and other liberal media failed to recognise "the most dynamic political force this nation has seen for decades" because of organisational flaws. Their staff- all middle-class graduates- are unrepresentative of the wider population, and the journalists operate in herds, inevitably making them susceptible to groupthink. In short, he argues, journalists reflect their class interests and their reporting becomes an echo chamber.
But this is to mistake the symptom for the cause. The way the media is organised is far from accidental. Over the past century, the corporate media became gradually "professionalised"- making it a career choice for the middle-class- for good reason.
The media's professionalisation took place because of a wider crisis of legitimacy among the ruling elite. The reality of wealthy press barons buying a newspaper and then dictating its content was never going to chime well with claims that Britain enjoyed a vigorous and free media.