Uma crítica literária que se transforma num muito curioso texto sobre as vidas e as existências dos grandes magnatas da imprensa norte-americana – “Paper tigers: what media moguls make“, de Nicholas Lemann no The New Yorker.
Media moguls—journalism moguls, anyway—need two sets of skills. They have to be able to select and package material from the world in a way that gives it order and narrative drive and swagger. They also have to forge, through creativity, cunning, and force, a set of arrangements with customers, competitors, governments, advertisers, production facilities, and distribution networks which can generate a lot of money. Even in an era of focus groups and marketing research, any news publication that attracts an audience has to have a personality, which means that it has to bear the stamp of a real person.
We now may see the history of journalism rewinding even farther, back to the time before the burghers and before the impresarios, when there wasn’t much of a market for news and there was a seamless connection between journalism and politics. Substantial realms of journalism, especially in newer media like the blogosphere and cable television, are already hard to distinguish from political activity. As government gets bigger and more consequential, the worry is not that there will be no one to purvey the news but that the news will no longer remain an independent and countervailing power.
A power-hungry media mogul is an independent social force—more independent, of course, when politicians he disapproves of are in power. That ought to count for something. And if, in the bargain, we get news, or entertainment, or even higher blood pressure from being infuriated, that’s another benefit. These days, we seem to be drifting toward the world that media reformers have dreamed about for half a century, where the press is made up entirely of small players. If we get there, we may find ourselves missing the dinosaurs who once roamed the earth.