Thursday, September 17, 2009

Journalism

Sorry for not writing much of late. Not that I don't have a lot to say; just don't have time to write it down here.

Stumbled across this piece, though, which I thought did a good job of explaining why you have to be very dubious of everything you read and hear. The people we grew up trusting to tell us what was going on in the world don't do their job very well. It's much less an issue of bias (although some exists) and more a case of laziness mixed with incompetence.

Excellent stuff at the end of the piece:

At the beginning of his article, Von Drehle referred to a recent poll that found "record-low levels of public trust of the mainstream media." Guess what? Articles like this are why nobody trusts the media. When you pretend that obviously false claims about crowd sizes are valid, people won't trust you. When you pretend that only liberals say 70,000 people actually attended last week's protest, people won't trust you. They shouldn't trust you. You aren't trustworthy. You are doing your job dishonestly and incompetently.

And that dishonesty, that incompetence, is what enables Glenn Beck. When Glenn Beck says 1.7 million people were at the protest, and the Washington, D.C., Fire Department says 70,000, and Time runs an article saying conservatives and liberals disagree about the crowd size, that enables Glenn Beck's lies.

Being a mouthpiece for liars of any political stripe is not journalism. Reporting the lies without saying whether they are, objectively speaking, true, is not journalism, either. *sigh*

Apparently some people (including people who are supposed to be journalists) really believe that everything is just a matter of opinion, that there are no objective facts. They are wrong.

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