Friday, November 04, 2005

Don't you dare call me a journalist

Latest screed now available for your outrage @Raw Story. Forewarned is four-flushed, or four-armed, or thereabouts.

Update: seems a few former members of the club want out, too:

I was a journalist for fifteen years, and loved it. I was a member of SPJ too. But my love affair with journalism might be ending here, as the folks who make up the membership of one of the most important organizations in the profession decide to look the other way when their hero violates basic principles. I fear they believed that Miller’s chosen imprisonment overshadowed any shoddiness in her work.

This is another part of the slow rot that’s eating at the work of newsgathering and reporting and writing and producing. Journalism has, as its core, the trust between reporters and editors, and reporters and the public. As that erodes, the whole enterprise starts to crumble. People turn away from news and reporting. Other forms can rise and steal the hearts and minds of citizens.

I am quite disappointed that a professional organization, representing work I love, would have celebrated someone who appears to have stomped all over the highest values of the practice. If Stevenson and Keller are right about the “contract between the paper and its reporters,” where’s the contract between journalists and the public? That’s what the rules and codes are supposed to be. They tell us what journalists do to retain our trust without us having to witness every act of newsgathering.

I’m disappointed because when I went into journalism, I thought it was noble work. My colleagues and bosses were dedicated to the highest standards of finding out everything, and then making sure that everyone had access to that information. I thought we had rules that everyone followed, and that editors strictly enforced. I looked at my job with almost the same view as maybe a court judge: the rules of evidence mattered because without them, stories could be slanted, shoddy work passed off as professional, and people could be misled and worse. This is the latest event that reminds those things I believed are not always true in journalism today, and I fear they may never have been.

Read the whole thing.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, but one problem is that there are also right wing blogs.


6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You nailed it right on the head....what person with any integrity would want to be called a journalist by todays standard? Dobbs, Mitchell, Matthews, Blitzer, MIller and all the rest of the pseudo-reporters can rot in hell.


9:58 AM  

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