October 21, 2011

Wisconsin's right-wing fake journalists

Of relevance to a recent and ongoing topic.

See, e.g., Wisconsin Reporter's sense of entitlement

More here.


gnarlytrombone said...

Just to continue the twitterpating. It's wonderful that Ward is speaking out on the false-front problem, but his invocation of journalistic objectivity is a big reason the problem exists.

It's why WR gets credentialed and why we don't see real reporters policing WR in the news pages (hullo, PolitiFact) - which enables the charade to continue unabated - and why if we did they'd likely be peppered with "yeah, but" quotes from Jessica McBride.

The view-from-nowhere tic even leads Ward to hedge his otherwise worthy analysis: "My objection to these new wire services is not political." Meaning: "I'm not going to broach whether Wisconsin Reporter's false pretensions and other ethical lapses are a product of it's particular ideological milieu. Let's pretend this problem is bipartisan and symmetrical."

illusory tenant said...

I hear ya. Classic abuse of objectivity: soliciting the views of Ken Ham when the latest bird/dinosaur fossil is discovered in China. Maybe Prof. Ward engages the concerns you raise in the full article.

gnarlytrombone said...

This makes me suspect he doesn't:

"Public journalists stand among contending groups; they do not stand with (or work for) a political group."

That sounds noble, and it might make good sense as newsroom policy for a variety of reasons. But it's not a foundation for an epidemiological creed. It's the germ of the notion that the truth usually or even always lies in the space between political actors. And that it turn reinforces reporters' belief that if they're being yelled at from both sides they must be doing something right.

A lot of what journalists believe to be objectivity is really a byproduct of media marketing: appeal to the broad audience, and avoid pissing off parts of the readership. But journalists internalize it as a kind of chivalry.

I'm with Rosen when he says he'd go along with journalistic objectivity as being "trying to ground truth claims in verifiable facts" and "the requirement to acknowledge what is, regardless of whether we want it to be that way."

Anonymous said...

Journalistic ethics and objectivity is dying on the vine. Long live the bloated bloviating entertainers who feed sound bites to the hungry masses! (sarcasm)

BOTH the left and the right share equal blame in the morphing of bloggers and fronted ideologues as "journalists", despite repeated mea culpas from those in the trenches and promises to target those groups with fake credentials and nebulous intentions by the heads of major news organizations.