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.
Virginian-Pilot journalists: Corporate management pressure is stifling coverage - “Lovers of journalism in this newsroom are pissed. It’s bad.”
Paper files public records request—and city’s response is a lawsuit - Local officials argue Montana courts should strike balance between privacy and disclosure
BBC Pop-Up reports from small town America - A small team is traveling across the United States for six months in hopes of finding underreported local stories
What game design can do for journalism - Three newly selected fellows at American University talk about the medium’s future
Timeline, an app based on ‘the history of…’ - But chronology doesn’t reveal everything
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
“Momentarily forgetting I was pregnant, I jockeyed for a position close enough to capture the initial moments of euphoria, hurling myself into the mix of hundreds of frenzied relatives. As the weight of men started to close in on me, I realized how vulnerable I was and started to panic.”
“It should be made clear, in law, that the tasks security reseachers do to make the net more secure and journalists do to understand and contextualize the truth for the public are not crimes”
People have become less trusting of major institutions, according to the annual Edelman Trust Barometer. And large majorities doubt that businesses want to make the world a better place.
Public editor Margaret Sullivan on why the paper should have published the images.
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.
Hey millionaire tech bros: Have patience with the editorial process – Chris Hughes probably wanted to enable great journalism at first. Then the dust settled and before you know it, he’s shaking everything up again