Re: anonymous coward
I think that I can answer the question "how badly have we fucked up". I have a sibling that went through journalism school in the 80's. At the time, there were three main TV news networks in the US, and their reports were basically viewed as gospel. I won't go into why that was, but the journos I knew at the time were all about the ethics of journalism, how they stood up to the powerful for Truth and Justice, with a capital 'T' and 'J'. I found that absurd even then, as Juvenal's phrase "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" has remained relevant for a long time. They could be forgiven, as the young are often guilty of enthusiasm.
Even into Desert Storm with CNN, there was a lot of faith in journalism that was as unwarranted as that in the Big Three networks' product. There has always been bias in news -- the only real barrier to setting up a news outlet was cash. It doesn't even have to be a conscious bias -- for example, a journalist may put a lot more effort into digging up dirt on political adversaries than they will for their friends. This reinforces itself until all credibility is as lost as that on a product trial that says Microsoft is the best in an independent study that is hosted on a MS--owned domain.
People tend to believe things in print simply because they were in print. Now that we live in a communication age, where the barrier to publishing your bastard brainchildren is an opinion and the motivation to post it, there are a lot more competing sources for information. Not only that, there are enough relatively (say that with a straight face...) respected opinions/sources that this bias, conscious or unconscious, is exposed.
There has been numerous examples of academic journalism fraud, where the lower barrier has meant that garbage has made it into the pages of formerly respected publications. Remember cold fusion? In fact, editors are human, too. They want to see their employer succeed, and may make questionable decisions to favor the sensational, especially if they think that they need to act in a hurry to be on top of things.
People see this, and then when they go to a publication and find their political ox has been gored, assume that means a prejudice against their politics. They may even do some investigation, but it's investigation on the flawed premise called confirmation bias. A truly fair publication will wind up goring everybody's ox from time to time, but they'll lose readership in so doing.
We live in a different age now. Journalists have been exposed as human beings with opinions and biases of their own. The only thing I find shameful about that is that they are not open about it. There's a lot to be said for listening to other people's opinions, and as long as you understand the source, you can make useful assumptions about their content. I see a lot of people bagging on purportedly liberal and conservative outlets like the Guardian and Daily Mail; however, I don't think that either of them is as monolithic in their politics as believed.
In the DM's situation, I see it more of a tendency towards sensationalism than solid fact-mongering, and coupled with a hilariously poor editing and quality control (honestly, they must be paid by the word to go through the clickbait so we don't have to), provides more of an entertainment product than what used to be referred to as "hard hitting" journalism. When the article veers left, the cons complain, and when the article veers right, the libs complain. Me, I'm just there to wind people up, so I consider my entertainment dollar well-spent.
People say that Fox is bad, and others say that CNN is also bad -- I just see them as two competing mutual masturbation societies, each operating in their own little bubble of opinion. Both are laughably incompetent, and both pretend to be the last bastion of journalism, holding back the howling mobs of ignorance and prejudice. Respecting one or the other says more about your politics than it does about their competence.