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.
Why Obama’s statement on reporters’ arrests in Ferguson is hypocritical - The president defends reporters in Ferguson, but demands compliance from James Risen
Apple can’t hide from a 20-year-old reporter - The University of Michigan student gets behind the tech titan’s newest products
Finding James Foley - This 2013 story takes a look at GlobalPost’s search for the photojournalist
Gannett cribs from Advance Publications playbook for struggling newspapers - Staff compete for fewer jobs; ‘readers become the assignment editor’
First Look runs headlong into journalism’s two big problems - Growing pains at the Omidyar/Greenwald venture
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
“Because dead men tell no tales, visitors to Père Lachaise cemetery lend their ears to Bertrand Beyern”
“The death of newspapers is sad, but the threatened loss of journalistic talent is catastrophic. If that’s you, it’s time to learn something outside the production routine of your current job.”
“Risen may be trapped in Ibsen, but Obama is channeling Orwell”
“There are things you should know before you show up, and you’re not going to find them in the current news cycle”
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.