Media's Hail Mary

Journalists may one day have a Saint among their ranks: the Roman Catholic church recently announced that the late Spanish journalist Manuel Lozano Garrido will be beatified this June, making him one step away from canonization. 

According to the Guardian's John Hooper, the soon-to-be-blessed "joined Catholic Action as a boy and, in the Spanish civil war, secretly brought the eucharist to believers until he was arrested and jailed. After the war, he wrote for Ya, the now-defunct newspaper of the Spanish bishops' conference and for two Catholic magazines, Telva and Vida Nueva. He founded a magazine for sick people and authored nine books." Lozano Garrido's beatification means that journalists so inclined will soon have a colleague to turn to in their times of need - that is, in addition to the Reformation-era French cleric Saint Francis de Sales, whose many writings trying to convert Protestants back to "the old faith" earned him the title "patron saint of journalists and writers."


Even journalists of more secular inclinations have to rely on a little faith now and then to persevere in the media world, especially after a week of drastic budget and personnel cuts to major global news providers. The BBC announced Tuesday that it will cut funding for its website by 25 percent and scale back its magazine and publishing wings. Though the corporation's management says the cuts have more to do with concerns over the BBC's effect on privately-funded competition, the pruning could leave hundreds looking for new work after being let go from "Britain's premier cultural institution."

Closer to home, the ABC network made the stunning revelation that it plans to buy out or lay off a quarter of its news department staff, a massive reduction that will surely make it more difficult to keep up the level of coverage expected of a national news service. According to the LA Times, ABC will shed half its domestic correspondents and close all of its domestic bureaus except Washington, D.C., and will cope with the reduced manpower by "hiring freelance crews and making use of its expanded team of digital journalists, staffers who would be able to handle multiple tasks." As Brian Stelter and Bill Carter argue in their New York Times article on the troubles at ABC and similar problems at CBS, network news is at a crossroads (something that anyone who's turned on a TV in the past five years could tell you), but lets just hope the journalists of the future don't rely too heavily on the benevolence of Saint Isidore of Seville, the patron saint of web surfers.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Why the ocean you know and love won’t exist in 50 years

Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?

Videos
  • Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
  • The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
  • If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
Keep reading Show less

Why modern men are losing their testosterone

Research has shown that men today have less testosterone than they used to. What's happening?

Flickr user Tom Simpson
Sex & Relationships
  • Several studies have confirmed that testosterone counts in men are lower than what they used to be just a few decades ago.
  • While most men still have perfectly healthy testosterone levels, its reduction puts men at risk for many negative health outcomes.
  • The cause of this drop in testosterone isn't entirely clear, but evidence suggests that it is a multifaceted result of modern, industrialized life.
Keep reading Show less

Health care: Information tech must catch up to medical marvels

Michael Dowling, Northwell Health's CEO, believes we're entering the age of smart medicine.

Photo: Tom Werner / Getty Images
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • The United States health care system has much room for improvement, and big tech may be laying the foundation for those improvements.
  • Technological progress in medicine is coming from two fronts: medical technology and information technology.
  • As information technology develops, patients will become active participants in their health care, and value-based care may become a reality.
Keep reading Show less