“The rise of the misinformed is now the largest obstacle for success for journalists today (outside the concerns that relate to publishing). If people don't trust the news, you don't have a news business.” Thomas Baekdal writes a strategic analysis for media companies to earn their readers’ trust, looking at data from PolitiFact to understand how misinformation spreads and what journalists can do to stop it.
The First Rough Draft of History: A Behind-the-Scenes History of Newsweek Magazine
Studs Terkel, lengendary historian and radio host pays a visit to Democracy Now! today. Audio and Video, as well as the transcript of this historic interview are here. Also, the WBAI pledge drive is this week too, please give what you can.
Unbiased (ideally) but not inhuman (hopefully) The Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma at the University of Washington studies the effects of crazy badness ("if it bleeds, it leads") on reporters and studies ways in which the news media can better cover traumatic events in the life of the world: War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death. From a piece on the site, "9-11 Journalists Share Memories, Support," "Long before Sept. 11, he was interested in how journalists respond to the pain and misery they encounter in their work, and the lack of support they often find in a traditionally tough-minded business. Then he nearly died while photographing the World Trade Center attack, and found those issues hit closer to home than he ever imagined."
Times Reporter Who Resigned Leaves Long Trail of Deception The New York Times runs a long article detailing its preliminary findings in the matter of Jayson Blair, The Times' young staff reporter who made up sources, facts, and anecdotes in potentially hundreds of stories. Does this investigation help the Times avoid permanent disgrace? Or does this just confirm what you've always thought about the Times? Slate magazine is attributing part of the problem to affirmative action (Blair is black). Is AA relevant here?
WSJ Reporter Daniel Pearl allegedly killed I certainly hope the reports aren't true. By placing the international media under seige, the stakes of the "war" against terrorism will rise drastically.
Ideas have consequences. On the subject of the Daniel Pearl kidnapping, an interesting letter to Media News today (scroll down to the "Journalists as Political Operatives" item), reads in part, "I would not want to trivialize it for all the world, but I am constrained to point out that it was only recently that Mr. Pearl's newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, felt compelled to praise the book "Bias" which perports to lay bare the 'liberal bias' of mainstream journalism. In fact, the WSJ editorial board has for years persisted, along with other conservative commentators, to label journalists as political tools in service of a larger political agenda. The kidnappers of Mr. Pearl insist that he is a political tool, a spy, for some foreign government (one day the U.S., the next day Israel.) Where could they have possibly gotten the idea that journalists are not the dedicated professionals they claim to be but are instead something else in disguise?" Thoughts?
Slate's MeZine Central offers a sampling of politically oriented journalists' sites, featuring what they call "The Best Political Weblogs".