Monday, August 17, 2015

Glenn Reynolds: Fast moving bad news builds prosperity

Glenn Reynolds: Fast moving bad news builds prosperity: "As Megan McArdle has observed, journalists particularly suffer from this problem: “Everyone you write about makes more than you. Most of the people you know make more than you. ... Your house is small, your furniture is shabby and you can't even really afford to shop at Whole Foods. Yet you're at the top of your field, working for one of the world's top media outlets. This can't be so.” Suddenly, systems that reward people through political influence look better."

'via Blog this'

That's one explanation for why journalists are hostile to free markets.

My theory is that the people who go into journalism are self-selecting liberals. Journalism students know they are unlikely to make much money. They go into journalism because they view it romantically. They imagine themselves as Woodward and Bernstein bringing down the powerful with the truth of their investigative reporting. They imagine themselves as agents of social change.

Conservatives, on the other hand, typically revile the media. They have no motivation for getting into the profession other than having a good career, and so generally opt out. They view good journalism as not having an agenda, and so mostly would not go into journalism to effect social change.

This is why I think journalists are anti-market, pro-government: they were that way before long they ever got into the profession.

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