Deference Journalism

A reader writes:

I thought that the rise of social media and quick, easy access to information would render our politics more transparent, but it appears as though the opposite is true.  Social media has enabled politicians to bypass the traditional channels to create their own narratives and directly reach their audience. 

Sadly, it appears as though this arrangement suits most journalists.

They seem more than happy to summarize Facebook posts or write articles about incoherent tweets.  If they put an edgy headline and enable comments they can increase the number of hits on their website without having to invest any real time in holding politicians and candidates accountable.  As we have seen, even nationally televised "debates" don't require candidates to answer questions anymore. I fear that the "Palin model" - where candidates don't have to answer any difficult questions - will become much more common because people will feel proximity to politicians; every tweet shows up on their cell phone like a personal text.

We need journalism now more than ever but journalists now seem more worried about their access and celebrity than truth.  As you might say, we have entered the age of deference journalism.