January 25, 2019

Journalism is not a Profession

Dana Mathewson

None of us at The Aviary need this lesson, but I'm sure we'll all appreciate the way it's laid out here. This man has been around the block quite a few times and knows what he's talking about, so he's well qualified to give the lesson.

From the article:

I've been gratified in the last few days that at least a few brave souls have tried to start a national conversation on the horrible state of American journalism. Clearly, many "journalists" don't want this conversation. And they may succeed in suppressing it. We'll try to continue it here....The last week has been a journalistic disaster, with fake news all over the place. And yet, no one really expects change. Indeed, some of the fakers are actually defending themselves. And blunders are glossed over. We are moving toward a fact-free journalism, devoted not to reporting the news "without fear or favor," but to advancing a "narrative." Some consider this a "higher calling," a move toward social justice. Facts just get in the way. And what is a fact anyway, especially if an "oppressed" culture doesn't believe it?

[...]

I don't think that's an exaggeration, but we have to ask why it's happened. A good journalist, like a good playwright, sets the stage. What was 1961 like? How did the time differ from today? Was there a higher morality? Well, one fact: In 1961 this country had millions of citizens who'd fought in World War II and Korea...and were still in their thirties. And millions more had been in war work. And many millions had family members who'd been killed or wounded in action.

Journalism has always been plagued with problems. It is not, as some of the pompous claim, a profession. A profession has formal entry requirements, like a bar exam. A profession has legally approved disciplinary panels that can strip a participant of his or her privileges. A certain number of lawyers are disbarred each year, and a certain number of doctors lose their licenses. And a profession rests on a generally accepted body of knowledge. Journalism strikes out on all three accounts. It is a calling, a trade, an occupation. It is not a profession, so we cannot begin to count on it for self-governance.

Read it all at Urgent Agenda.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 09:13 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 388 words, total size 3 kb.

1 I disagree that the problem is fairly new, though; the fact is, the media has lied to us all along. "Remember the Maine!" William Randolf Hearst and his people created the Spanish American war out of thin air, by lying to the public about "atrocities" and whatnot.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at January 25, 2019 09:22 AM (qkVVs)

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