Friday, June 04, 2010

Are journalists generally smart enough to cover the news?

My answer is "No, not by a long shot."

There are some great ones, but most seem not to know enough to put the simplest stories together without using more ideological glue than facts. And even in the relative absence of ideology, there is often a lack of basic rigor in handling the facts.

For instance, I don't think that I've ever seen a single good news article in any of the local papers on something as important as school budgets. There's no digging, so there's no perspective and no context. It's all just "he said, she said."

But to be honest, it's not just the local papers. The New York Times has become about as objective as The Daily Worker. It's crap, up to and including its Pulitzer Prize winners.

1 comment:

TPW said...

Perhaps an equally relevant question might be, "are journalists paid to cover the news, or just report on what people said?" Because digging through information and connecting dots takes time, and a typical local reporter makes no more than 50 bucks a story. A two-hour meeting, plus drive time, plus an hour to actually write the piece could easily turn that into less than ten bucks an hour. Add in some investigation, and that reporter is fast earning less than minimum wage, and even faster looking for a way to actually cover his mortgage.