A good newspaper editor spent time in the back shop every day. The people who set up the copy for the presses read it as they did so -- in this picture they literally typed it in by hand. In my day, they read it on the proofs. And they would tell you what they thought about it. Same with the guys who ran the printing press, in their blue overall suits and ink-blacked hands. If an editor wanted to know what the world outside his office walls thought about the news, and his presentation of it, this was a great place to start.
But the nature of printing technology changes and class segregation, the infamous bubble, creeps in:
Now, where I work, there still is a back shop. It consists of about 5 people who oversee the computer systems. Unless we meet them by chance at the coffee machine, we newsroom denizens rarely speak to them. Most of them have computer backgrounds; they don't have ink or wax or lead splattered on their clothes. The process of making a newspaper is now computer to computer to printing press.
And he concludes
And somewhere, along the way, the American media comes unmoored from the American people. Perhaps it would have happened anyhow.
I think this same process has taken place in many other American institutions. The universities come to mind. A leisured upper class elite, isolated from the necessities and realities of life, has come to power. They don't really concern themselves with the safety and wellbeing of ordinary people because, well, they themselves are doing just fine, thank you.
In closing I will link to a post where Callimachus describes the social atmosphere in a modern newsroom: My Left Behind III. I don't think anyone here will be surprised at what he has to say, as it is much as we might imagine.