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“Apocalyptic Journalism” and Why We Need Reporters to Face the Reality of Our Crumbling Society
by Robert Jensen
In his essay “The collapse of journalism and the journalism of collapse: From royal, to prophetic, to apocalyptic,” UT professor Robert Jensen uses those theological terms to talk about the challenge facing secular journalism:
We have no choice but to deal with the collapse of journalism, but we also should recognize the need for a journalism of collapse. Everyone understands that economic changes are forcing a refashioning of the journalism profession. It’s long past time for everyone to pay attention to how multiple, cascading ecological crises should be changing professional journalism’s mission in even more dramatic fashion.
Jensen suggests that journalists have an important role in helping the culture come to terms with these crises:
The best journalists in our tradition have seen themselves as responsible for telling stories about the struggle for social justice. Today, we can add stories about the struggle for ecological sustainability to that mission. Our hope for a decent future—indeed, any hope for even the idea of a future—depends on our ability to tell stories not of how humans have ruled the world but how we can live in the world.
Whether or not we like it, we are all apocalyptic now.