Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hey, Jay Rosen! That's my soapbox!

Jay Rosen, media critic and associate professor of journalism at New York University, thinks journalists ought to offer more in the way of self-disclosure.

That makes two of us.  For several years now I've been arguing that the tradition of reporters keeping mum about their opinions is obsolete.  It has one role:  to hoodwink the public with regard to the objectivity of the press.

NPR's David Folkenflik reports on Rosen's views and offers a representation of the argument against Rosen.  Which I found very amusing:
Much of the conventional press has guarded against public exposure of journalists' private opinion lest it undermine the ability of readers, viewers or listeners to believe what they print or broadcast. Many journalists say they did not get into the news business to parade their personal opinions. They say they did it to uncover the facts.
Isn't that a hoot and a half?

Letting the public in on journalists' private opinions might "undermine the ability of readers ... to believe what they print or broadcast."  I'm pretty sure that's what I said up above, except without the euphemistic phrasing.  The media outlets are hoodwinking the audience into thinking they're objective.  The conscientious press is concerned about their poor readers!  We must not interfere with their suspension of disbelief!  That would be wrong!

The latter part of the paragraph is just as funny.  Journalists didn't get into the news business "to parade their person opinions," but to "uncover the facts."  Unless the fact is that they have specific personal opinions.  Let that fact remain forever covered, please.  After all, uncovering that fact might interfere with the ability of the audience to believe the media message.

Too flippin' hilarious.

But it's nice to see NPR reporting on this at all.  Seriously.

Jan. 27, 2011:  Finally remembered to include the URL to the NPR story.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please remain on topic and keep coarse language to an absolute minimum. Comments in a language other than English will be assumed off topic.