Who would spend the time/funding to get all the adequate education to effectively regulate a certain branch of human activity, to only be an reactionary police man in that field? This is essentially the ideal that one could ask for in a government regulator, but something that has a very narrow chance of ever really happening in our modern capitalist state.
In my view, journalists are the only potentially trustworthy ones who can also get a well rounded education and can specialize/dabble in the area they wish to draw attention to for the wider public. Would journalists ever be given governmental power to regulate an industry, though? Or do they need to market their ideas and criticisms to the population that will then lobby the government to stop or start doing something to some industry that is doing something harmful. This sounds very gloomy, in a heavily distracted public such as ours.
Journalists power to understand and articulate to the populace has surely brought some good (or stopped some bad), but it can only go so far… In the more advanced fields of industry (rife with “lab coat donning disciplinary idiots”) the journalists will still be several steps behind despite their intellect and best efforts. The truly gifted among them, in both virtue and education abilities, can only shout so loud, and cry foul only AFTER crimes have been committed… and if their cries resonate, the result will be… a new government branch of regulation, which adds just another loop in the knot. Its always post-facto, and unfortunately there are always new things for profit-seeking industries to savagely fuck-up.
When there is an official government bureau to regulate something, who are the experts that they bring in? The obvious answer is former players in the industry, and its really the only answer. Whether the revolving door came first, or the necessity for “qualified” regulators, the end result is the same: the facade of regulation allows an industry to do whatever it wants with much of the public comfortably feeling protected, although oftentimes angry that they have to pay for the protection. The more angry they might be if they realized there was no protection at all, and the chemicals, pollutants, and malfeasance was slowly eating away at their flesh, their families, their livelihoods, and the community at large. Regulators perhaps just moderate the flow of shit that comes down the stream, easing the public into it like the “boiling frog” that it has become.