More than ever we need the press to lead the debate. Lead it with investigative stories and analyses that are grounded in intellectually honest reporting. We need the press to trust in the authority its reporters and editors earn through just-the-facts reporting that leads to a deep, contextualized understanding of the issues. Not so long ago there was a national debate over the question of good news versus bad news in Iraq. The reporters on the ground were saying that the situation was even worse than their reporting can convey. Here at home, the White House was insisting that freedom was still on the march, and its trumpeters in the partisan media were railing against the “liberal” MSM and its alleged desire to see America fail in Iraq. Today, all but the most deluded know that the reporters on the ground were right. They are the true authorities on the situation in Iraq. Many have been there longer than the military personnel who rotate in and out. They have written about it more, thought about it more, and studied it more. Why shouldn’t they be leading the debate?
Behind the News
12:04 PM - October 9, 2006
The Press Must Lead the Debate, Not Just Reflect it
As the role of the press continues to be hotly debated, one thing remains clear: it has never been just a passive observer.
The ethics of The Guardian’s Whisper bombshell - It would have been a journalistic lapse not to have told readers
Gawker: The internet bully - Nick Denton’s media empire is an intellectual online fraternity that invites people to their parties only to make them buy the booze
The Washington Post short-sells a reporter’s integrity - Steven Pearlstein smears TheStreet’s Adam Feuerstein for criticizing a biotech firm
Former Sun-Times staffers react to top reporter’s resignation - “Whereas we don’t have all the answers, we have way too many questions about what happened here”
Stop trolling your readers - We know you’re only doing it for clicks
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
“We may update this list next week to reflect Facebook shares gathered by The Awl as the result of this post, which is ultimately an elaborate excuse to embed a John Oliver video on our website”
The answer is complicated
An American journalist on his two-year kidnapping in Syria
“‘We are outraged that the FBI, with the apparent assistance of the US Attorney’s Office, misappropriated the name of The Seattle Times to secretly install spyware on the computer of a crime suspect,’ said Seattle Times Editor Kathy Best”
Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.