Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Is this how the media see themselves?

A common complaint among conservatives is the elitist attitude of the mainstream news media. The media, of course, thinks such charges are nonsense. Dan at County Trunk T notes an interesting phrasing in this news story about potential replacements for Dan Rather.

When the media describes the next guy to smile and read off the teleprompter as a "successor", I know something ain't right in the world. In the corporate world we use the term "replacement" or "new hire". While "successor" is grammatically correct, it rings of elitism and power.

I agree that "succession" does seem to connote a transfer of power, such as that between monarchs or other heads of state. I also noticed that the words "successor" or "succession" were used eleven times in that short article.

Normally such word usage wouldn't jump out at me. By definition, "successor" applies to the situation. Still, perhaps this word usage is an indication that, as much as they protest to the contrary, the media really do see themselves as a group of aristocrats ruling over their little serfdom of viewers. They don't just have "replacements," they have "successors."


At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeepers. The term "successor" is commonplace in the business world, especially for high-profile positions like this. CEOs and Corporate Presidents always have succesors, and it's common for someone to "ascend the corporate ladder."

Sure, the writer of the article used "successor" too much. Of course there are many obvious replacements for this word...

Next up to bat
Lower down in the pecking order
Vice Anchor
Poor-man's Peter Jennings

And many more. You're being way too picky here because you're not a fan of the mainstream media.


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