Over the past 25 years or so roughly 100,000 journalists have lost their jobs in the United States as private equity firms and hedge funds have siphoned away salaries to pad their profits, closing newspapers across the country as if no one would miss them.
These predatory corporations operate with no regard for the impact of their practices, removing capital and knowledge from communities forever as they cannibalize local newspapers. This practice began before the arrival of the internet and continues today in Connecticut and elsewhere. It is toxic on many levels, because there is a wider impact.
In the places where most people consume information – social media platforms – users are inundated with misinformation and distractions. Millions of people (including many well-known politicians) are knowingly parroting debunked falsehoods – gaslighting everyone they can reach – for partisan points.
This was inevitable. The gaslighting of America is the result of losing 100,000 truth-tellers and fact-checkers to predatory investors. Now that these journalists are no longer on the job, the value of their efforts has been removed from public discourse and what we have left in many instances is a willful disregard for the truth and zero or long-delayed accountability at best.
Misinformation is everywhere. Much of it is well-funded and there simply aren’t enough of us to call it out every time we see it. When professional reporters do call it out, we are often attacked – particularly female journalists. It’s a vicious cycle.
Rising above that noise is the battle we face every day in what is left of the news industry. Local, independent, online news organizations like ours are popping up, but job growth in digital has yet to outpace the losses in print. The trend is likely to get worse before it gets better.
That’s why it is up to you to not only make time for a healthy, balanced news diet, but we also need you to help fund the news sources that serve you best. Otherwise, we’re going to continue this downward trend until there are no non-partisan news sources left.
CTNewsJunkie is a tiny, scrappy organization that we have been operating since 2005, and in the years since it was launched we have been forced to reinvent ourselves several times. Rest assured we will need to do so again very soon or face the consequences of a marketplace that prefers 15-second videos produced by “influencers” over verified facts that impact all of us.
News organizations like ours strive to provide an accurate first draft of history. We will continue to provide this service as long as people support it. And if we don’t do this work, and the downward trend in news jobs continues, we are doomed to see future generations re-write history to something that better fits the agenda of their era and which makes them comfortable. Sometimes the truth is uncomfortable but it needs to be recorded and remembered. Read the news from around the country today and you will see that people are already trying to erase uncomfortable truths about our nation’s past and present.
You can help us report the truth. Take a moment to support CTNewsJunkie with a new subscription. Our daily goal this week is 10 new $100/year Press Patrons and one new advertising sponsor per day to underwrite our news reporting in exchange for visibility for your brand throughout the year. This is the best way forward to maintain our independence as we try to finish our 19th year in business.
We don’t have deep pockets. We need grassroots support – your support – to keep going.
Thank you in advance for clicking below and starting a monthly or annual subscription. And if you run a business, please do email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out what it takes to become a sponsor!
–Doug Hardy, Christine Stuart, Hugh McQuaid & the rest of the CTNewsJunkie crew