I'm going to defend Nulli on this one, at least the part about Cokie being old-school.
I do think journalism overall has taken a step backward in the past 30 years or so. A lot of it is attributable to the emergence first of cable news and then of the Internet and social media. There are far more choices for people to get their news.
This sounds like a good thing, and it is in some ways, as more choice theoretically grows the marketplace of ideas. But there are several problems with this:
1. Many "journalists" today have no journalism background, whether through education, experience or training. A background in journalism teaches such skills as fairness, ethics, balanced reporting, good research techniques, knowledge of history, open-records laws, proper attribution, how to treat sources, all that kind of stuff that helps make you a better journalist. I see major shortcomings in one or more of those skills regularly.
2. The proliferation of talk shows, blogs, memes, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and many other resources has blurred the line between fact and opinion. People find their tribes, tribe leaders take advantage of their passion, their biases are reinforced repeatedly, and the truth becomes irrelevant.
3. There's only so much advertising money to go around. As the traditional media lose their oligopolistic grip on ad dollars, their budgets to maintain a strong news staff dry up. So your local newspaper, especially, can't do its job as watchdog as effectively as it once did.
4. SEO, ad tracking, and Big Data have made it a lot easier to focus on, and in some cases manipulate, target audiences.
5. Many people are intentionally engaged in disinformation. Governments, businesses, individual hackers, thieves and others are creating fake news, fake events, fake people, and fake controversies to rile people, interfere with elections and damage public confidence in its institutions. Visual and audio editing software have made it much easier to misrepresent the truth.