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The greatest threat to American journalism: the loss of neutral reporting Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   grimreefer 

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 04:13 AM

Quote

The greatest threat to American journalism: the loss of neutral reporting

The Hill
By John Solomon, opinion contributor
11/23/18 10:30 AM EST

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill

excerpt:


Over the past several months, I’ve watched, read and heard much about the potential Armageddon facing the profession of journalism.

I’ve watched colleagues proclaim that “fake news?attacks by President Trump, crowd chants of “enemies?and the expulsion of CNN’s Jim Acosta from the White House press room pose the greatest threats to news reporting in history.

I respectfully disagree.

To be fair, there are many dangers I recognize and many fears I see as justified.

Forty-five members of the news media have died in the line of duty this year, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The death of Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of a Saudi government seeking to silence his voice is as horrific as it is unconscionable. The mail bombs sent to media outlets also are reprehensible and chilling.

But journalism, sadly, has laid to rest many a brave reporter, here and on foreign soil, and it managed to keep a neutral light of disclosure burning bright in far more difficult times than today.

We journalists have more freedom, more reach, and more ability to inform today than ever before. But with those advantages comes an even greater responsibility to the public, one I fear is being denigrated by journalists who substitute opinion for facts and emotion for dispassion.

Beyond the killings, the threats, and the vitriol, what most threatens journalism today is the behavior of its own practitioners.

We have become too full of our own opinions, too enthralled with our own celebrity, too emotionally offended by warranted and unwarranted criticism, and too astray from the neutral, factual voice our teachers in journalism school insisted we practice.

It was that neutral voice that compelled Americans to welcome television newscasters Walter Cronkite or Peter Jennings into their living rooms each night. It was that commitment to factual reporting without slant that made the morning and evening newspapers mandatory reading.

And it was that relentless but emotionally detached commitment to truth, context and fairness ?even when enemies sought to discredit us ?that exposed such wrongs as Watergate, the Tuskegee experiments and the deplorable treatments at Walter Reed Hospital.

The traits that have made journalism great and respected and impactful for most of the past century are sorely lacking in many of today’s practitioners.

Instead of facts, many journalists today trade in supposition and opinion. Instead of dispassionate neutral coverage, many have offered emotional rants that border on disrespect. Instead of covering all sides of the story, entire news organizations have chosen to pick one side over another.

And Donald Trump’s broadsides have only forced reporters to hunker down even more with these harmful practices.

This self-destructive behavior was on full display this week as professional journalists strayed far from their neutral voice in reporting on ?and simultaneously condemning ?Trump’s statement on why he chose to maintain good relations with Saudi Arabia despite its role in murdering the journalist Khashoggi.

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith declared: “President Trump stands with Saudi Arabia. Today the president insulted the murder victim and sided with the Saudis, who said our CIA is wrong.?On CNN, anchor Brianna Keilar suggested there was little difference in Trump’s annual rite of pardoning a Thanksgiving turkey and his treatment of Saudi Arabia.

“And there you have it ?President Trump pardoning the Thanksgiving turkey, the annual tradition. Peas is the name of this turkey,?Keilar said on “CNN Newsroom.?br />
“And just the most unusual dichotomy here, as this comes on the heels of a statement that the president has put out essentially pardoning Saudi Arabia and the crown prince and the king there, despite what his intel community is expected to put out in a report today that Saudi Arabia is behind, that these leaders of Saudi Arabia are behind the killing of a Washington Post journalist,?she added.

Such rhetorical flair may make the journalist emotionally satisfied for a moment. But the injection of opinion and insinuation and condemnation disserves the public for a far longer time, depriving viewers and readers of a neutral set of facts upon which to make their own decisions and opinions.

**SNIP**

LINK

NUH-UH! TRUMP!!! :tantrum:


Solomon is a sane voice in a vast sea of MSM pearl clutching.
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#2 User is offline   Martin 

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 09:11 AM

"It was that neutral voice that compelled Americans to welcome television newscasters Walter Cronkite or Peter Jennings into their living rooms each night. It was that commitment to factual reporting without slant that made the morning and evening newspapers mandatory reading."

Are you f'ing kidding me? Here is a sample of "factual reporting without slant" from Mr. Jennings, about the Republican Congressional victory of 1994:
"Some thoughts on those angry voters. Ask parents of any two-year-old and they can tell you about those temper tantrums: the stomping feet, the rolling eyes, the screaming. It's clear that the anger controls the child and not the other way around. It's the job of the parent to teach the child to control the anger and channel it in a positive way. Imagine a nation full of uncontrolled two-year-old rage. The voters had a temper tantrum last week....Parenting and governing don't have to be dirty words: the nation can't be run by an angry two-year-old."
-- ABC World News Tonight anchor Peter Jennings in his daily ABC Radio commentary, November 14.


"Neutral voice"? Yeah, right.

This post has been edited by Martin: 24 November 2018 - 09:12 AM

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#3 User is offline   Martin 

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 09:24 AM

"It was that neutral voice that compelled Americans to welcome television newscasters Walter Cronkite or Peter Jennings into their living rooms each night. It was that commitment to factual reporting without slant that made the morning and evening newspapers mandatory reading."

Neutral? In a pig's eye, or at least a CBS eye. In 2004, four days before the election, Osama bin Laden appeared in a video broadcast by Al Jazeera condemning President George W. Bush's response to the 9/11 massacre. Maybe bin Laden thought it would harm Bush's electoral prospects, but its effect was just the opposite. Speaking in his "neutral voice", Walter Cronkite speculated that Karl Rove persuaded bin Laden to make the video:

"So now the question is, basically, right now, how will (the Osama Bin Laden tape) affect the election? And I have a feeling that it could tilt the election a bit. In fact, I'm a little inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, that he probably set up bin Laden to this thing." — Walter Cronkite on Larry King

Neutral voice? Sure thing, pal.

This post has been edited by Martin: 24 November 2018 - 11:07 AM

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#4 User is offline   timster 

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 09:30 AM

Re: The greatest threat to American journalism: the loss of neutral reporting.

Most “journalists?are called “Pressitutes?for well and truly deserved reasons!

Here are a few examples:

Brian Williams ?Lying about events when he was covering the Iraq War in 2003.

Dan Rather - Fake news reporting about President G.W. Bush’s National Guard Service.

Besides Sharyl Attkisson, where were the rest of the MSM “investigative?reporters during the Obama Administration? Why didn’t they cover Benghazi or the Clinton E-mail Servers (2 of many scandals that deserve to be investigated)?

The open and flagrant bias:

Chris Matthews on President Trump's Inauguration speech, January 20, 2017:

“….but I'm thinking, when [President Trump] said today, America first, it was not just the racial, I mean I shouldn't say racial, the Hitlerian background to it…”

Maybe if the MSM would do true and unbiased reporting then maybe they would have a better reputation than they have now!
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#5 User is online   Dean Adam Smithee 

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 11:54 AM

There's no such that as 'Journalism' any more. At least, not the 'Journalism' I took several classes in back in the day. Even almost-40-ish years later, I remember TWO things from those classes: The Five Ws of Who What When Where and sometimes Why, and the Inverted Pyramid style of writing. Start by mentioning all the important details in the first paragraph, then flesh it out with increasingly less relevant detail so that an editor can cut paragraphs from the bottom to make it 'fit'.

I still maintain that those two thing are the hallmark of 'true' Journalism, and that any story that leaves out a relevant W is propaganda rather then Journalism; it means they're trying to shape how you think rather than telling you what all the facts are. Best example is stories that leave out significant details about the Who - such as race, religion, or political party when those details are salient. I mean, one would gather from reading most newspapers these days that no Black Democrat Muslim has ever committed a crime in modern America.
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#6 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 02:32 PM

Journalist - Noun - Someone who does imprecise guesswork based on unreliable data provided by those of questionable knowledge or expertise. ~ Anonymous

Accuracy to a newspaper is what virtue is to a lady; but a newspaper can always print a retraction. ~ Adlai Stevenson

An editor is one who separates the wheat from the chaff and prints the chaff. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Oh heck, here's the link to a whole bunch more.

:D
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#7 User is online   Dean Adam Smithee 

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 04:20 PM

View PostMontyPython, on 24 November 2018 - 02:32 PM, said:

Journalist - Noun - Someone who does imprecise guesswork based on unreliable data provided by those of questionable knowledge or expertise. ~ Anonymous

Accuracy to a newspaper is what virtue is to a lady; but a newspaper can always print a retraction. ~ Adlai Stevenson

An editor is one who separates the wheat from the chaff and prints the chaff. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Oh heck, here's the link to a whole bunch more.

:D



I like this one:

Definition of rock journalism: People who can't write, doing interviews with people who can't think, in order to prepare articles for people who can't read. ~ Frank Zappa (The Real Frank Zappa Book )
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#8 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 04:52 PM

View PostDean Adam Smithee, on 24 November 2018 - 04:20 PM, said:

I like this one:

Definition of rock journalism: People who can't write, doing interviews with people who can't think, in order to prepare articles for people who can't read. ~ Frank Zappa (The Real Frank Zappa Book )


HUGE Frank Zappa fan here.

:yes:
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#9 User is online   Dean Adam Smithee 

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 05:50 PM

View PostMontyPython, on 24 November 2018 - 04:52 PM, said:

HUGE Frank Zappa fan here.

:yes:


Okay, in my best "Debbie Downer" voice:

Big fan of Zappa in the day. I ESPECIALLY appreciated his "creativity" and "thinking outside the box" in a very Andy Warhol sort of way. I got off the bus when he named his kids "Moon Unit" and "Dweezil". That leaves a mark. If EITHER were named, say, Jennifer Zappa or George Zappa, they could FREELY CHOOSE to either run with it or be their own person. Instead, they're "saddled" with it. That's just not right.
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#10 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 06:30 PM

View PostDean Adam Smithee, on 24 November 2018 - 05:50 PM, said:

Okay, in my best "Debbie Downer" voice:

Big fan of Zappa in the day. I ESPECIALLY appreciated his "creativity" and "thinking outside the box" in a very Andy Warhol sort of way. I got off the bus when he named his kids "Moon Unit" and "Dweezil". That leaves a mark. If EITHER were named, say, Jennifer Zappa or George Zappa, they could FREELY CHOOSE to either run with it or be their own person. Instead, they're "saddled" with it. That's just not right.


True to a point, I guess. But remember, Dweezil & Moon Unit were both born filthy rich. Me, I'd enthusiastically trade a "normal" birth name for millions of dollars.

It would be different, of course, if a dirt-poor person (like me) saddled a kid with a stupid name. That poor kid would have twice the struggle in life. But I seriously doubt Dweezil or Moon Unit have ever had to struggle for a meal or a place to live.

B)
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#11 User is offline   Severian 

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 06:32 PM

Dweezil Zappa voiced the character of Ajax in the USA Network cartoon "Duckman."
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#12 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 06:43 PM

I LOVE Dave Barry:


Here in the news media, our focus is on speed. When we get hold of some new and possibly inaccurate information, our highest priority is to get it to you, the public, before our competitors do. If the news media owned airlines, there would be a lot less concern about how many planes crashed, and a lot more concern about whose plane hit the ground first.
~ Dave Barry


...Terry Jackson, who is the Miami Herald’s automotive writer and TV critic. That’s correct: This man gets paid to drive new cars AND watch television. If he ever dies and goes to heaven, it’s going to be a big let down.
~ Dave Barry


As the saying goes: "If you're not part of the solution, you're a newspaper columnist."
~ Dave Barry

:2up:
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#13 User is offline   Severian 

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 07:07 PM

If you don't read the newspaper you're uninformed. If you do read the newspaper you're misinformed. - Mark Twain
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#14 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 07:47 PM

Ooh yeah, love Mark Twain too.


"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it."
–Mark Twain


"It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled."
–Mark Twain


"God created war so that Americans would learn geography."
–Mark Twain


"Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable."
–Mark Twain


"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."
–Mark Twain


"Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits."
-Mark Twain


:coolshades:
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#15 User is offline   Ticked@TinselTown 

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 10:13 PM

Someone is incredibly ( decades ) late to the reality party...
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#16 User is offline   kestrel 

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 10:58 PM

View PostMontyPython, on 24 November 2018 - 04:52 PM, said:

HUGE Frank Zappa fan here.

:yes:


"Iam gross and perverted obsessed and deranged I've existed for years but very little has changed..."

Kestrel...
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#17 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 11:18 PM

View Postkestrel, on 24 November 2018 - 10:58 PM, said:

"Iam gross and perverted obsessed and deranged I've existed for years but very little has changed..."

Kestrel...


Mud...Sh...Sh...Shark...

;)
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#18 User is offline   USNRETWIFE 

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Posted 25 November 2018 - 12:28 AM

I have always liked William Tecumseh Sherman's quote, "I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast."
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#19 User is online   zurg 

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Posted 25 November 2018 - 10:21 AM

Yogi Berra had a good principle regarding radio interviews. “If you ask me anything I don’t know, I’m not going to answer.?
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#20 User is online   Dean Adam Smithee 

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Posted 25 November 2018 - 05:56 PM

View PostMontyPython, on 24 November 2018 - 07:47 PM, said:

Ooh yeah, love Mark Twain too.

"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it."
–Mark Twain



Oh, I really like that one.
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