Are you under the impression that in the last 2-300 years of journalism, Hunter S Thompson or Edward Murrow are representative of the vast majority of journalists?
Hell, even the supposedly famous "Did a great job on that one famous story" types are rarely as great as their reputations suggest. Look at Bob Woodward. Is he really the Bob Woodward of Woodward and Bernstein, or a hack who reports any old crap to sell newspapers (and books)?
Maybe not exactly representative, no. My point was that even types like Thompson, who I don't think was ever especially known for his classiness, had a certain respect for his subjects. In my opinion, but of course you're welcome to disagree, that is sorely lacking these days. I consider Murrow to be an exceptional journalist, but I somehow doubt that his qualities would count for much in todays news business. For one thing he didn't really have "the looks".
Of course there have always been trash journos, if that's what you were getting at, but at least there used to be exceptions. Now, I'm not so sure. For example Friedman, who is supposed to be carrying this torch, but I'm not a big fan. Too biased, especially regarding Israel.
Bernstein, BTW, does still (or has until recently) put out quite interesting stuff now and again, but had he not already been an established hack I would guess he would not easily find employment at any major news organisation.