Here’s an interesting question from a commenter at Ace’s:
We have always had a partisan press its just that it use to have two sides. I don’t really know what happened to the conservative side of the press, I suspect the depression and the age of FDR had a lot to do with its disappearance.
It’s true that during the 20th century, and particularly after the 30s, the country has generally become less conservative. I’m not sure about the time frame on the following, but there also has been an increasing tendency for newspapers to see themselves as “objective” and above partisanship, as though they are declaiming from Olympian heights. Preposterous, of course; back in the day, newspapers were quite up-front about their biases and political leanings.
But there is still another answer to that commenter’s question about what happened: journalism school happened, as well as the rise of the young journalist.
Used to be that journalism wasn’t about schooling. Journalists (called “reporters” back then) didn’t even necessarily go to college, much less journalism school. They started young, but at the beginning didn’t have much power or influence at all; they were relegated to lowly tasks. To work one’s way up to becoming a major force at a well-known newspaper took time, and by then the reporter had also done time in the cliched school of hard knocks, which tends to be a lot less compatible with starry-eyed liberalism than j-school is.
Remember those hard-bitten hard-nosed reporters in the green eyeshades? Remember Jimmy Olsen, cub reporter, serving his apprenticeship? Well, that doesn’t seem to be the way it works these days. A great many influential reporters are quite young (‘scuse me, journalists), and their pre-reporter credentials are mainly academic ones. So is it any wonder that conservative journalists are getting more rare? The wonder is that there are any left at all, the profession and the educational system being what it is.