The death of journalism II
today at 1:53 pm
Examples of how the once honorable profession is cutting its own throat
Judging by the atrocious state of journalism today, you’ve got to wonder what students aspiring to become reporters are being taught these days.
After all, if bridges designed by engineering school grads started collapsing, you’d have a right to wonder what they are being taught.
So, here’s a taste of the hogwash that some journalism teachers are feeding their students:
Emily Bell, director of Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Media, said the pursuit of a “truthful news environment” justifies the auditing and vetting of some (read: conservative) media. As reported by The College Fix:
Bell said that the unprecedented events of 2020 and 2021 coincided with “widespread and often politized information” on “conservative cable news channels” and that local reporters need to “learn new cadence.”
She added that the country needs to “rethink what public broadcasting is in the digital age” and “apply some pressure to the platform companies to allow much greater auditing.”
“There has to be a will among the political elite and the media elite and the technology elite to actually do the right thing, as it were,” Bell said, as reported in The Wall Street Journal. [Emphasis added.]
No doubt Bell considers herself to be a part of the elite to lay down the law by defining “misinformation.”
To say this is a deviation from traditional journalism ethics is a brash understatement. Of course, those traditional ethics were a creation of white racists, so they must be tossed.
Because I haven’t been around a journalism classes for decades, I have only the results to judge by the quality of the profession’s current teaching methods. For that we turn to the acclaimed Washington Post and the sort-of-retraction it had to make regarding ex-President Donald Trump’s phone conversation with the George Secretary of State about the election results:
Two months after publication of this story, the Georgia secretary of state released an audio recording of President Donald Trump’s December phone call with the state’s top elections investigator. The recording revealed that The Post misquoted Trump’s comments on the call, based on information provided by a source. Trump did not tell the investigator to “find the fraud” or say she would be “a national hero” if she did so. Instead, Trump urged the investigator to scrutinize ballots in Fulton County, Ga., asserting she would find “dishonesty” there. He also told her that she had “the most important job in the country right now.” A story about the recording can be found here. The headline and text of this story have been corrected to remove quotes misattributed to Trump. [Emphasis added.]
Recall that this erroneous story was reported from an unidentified “source,” and that a handful of media outlets picked up the story with the assertion that they had independently confirmed it.
If they had, it was “confirmed” by the same source that fed the false information to the Washington Post. Or perhaps they didn’t even do that much. Who knows?
Obviously, the Washington Post had not heard the tape that the “source” claimed verified the information. Instead it took the word of someone who had an ax to grind–a practice that has become as common today as the weather report. When, I have asked, will journalists have enough pride to stop letting themselves be used as a propaganda pipeline? What has happened to their self-respect?
Then comes the story about Alexi McCammon who was ousted as editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue magazine days before she was to take the job. She had offended the magazine’s staff about her “racist” tweets about Asians that she had made decades ago as a student. She has since apologized several times, but after pressure from the staff and an advertiser she had to go. (Details here.)
So, now the staff is running the publication? Not the publisher, the editor, the owner? This used to be unthinkable, but has it now become standard operating procedure? Now we get staff members at the New York Times able to get the option page editor to quit for publishing a perfectly legitimate op-ed from a U.S. senator. Because they didn’t like what he said, even though it is a subject of legitimate debate. At the Chicago Tribune, the union executive committee tried to demand that it’s lead columnist, John Kass, bend his knee to their views, enough though theirviews were false and slanderous.
Sadly, these won’t be the last examples of journalism’s self-destruction.
The Death of Journalism I is here.