Penelope Trunk writes for the Huffington Post that "It Doesn't Matter that Journalists Misquote Everyone"
Journalists who think they are telling "the truth" don't understand the truth. We each have our own truth. When you leave out details, you might leave out what is unimportant to you but very important to someone else, and things start feeling untrue to the person who wishes you included something else.The problem with such a relativistic approach is that
- It means that the truth doesn't matter.
- It implies that the only difference between a journalist and a blogger is that the journalist gets paid.
- Journalists don't seem to buy what Trunk is selling.
jour·nal·ism: writing that reflects superficial thought and research [check], a popular slant [check], and hurried composition [check], conceived of as exemplifying topical newspaper or popular magazine writing as distinguished from scholarly writing.I guess that's the point--unlike scholarship, we don't expect journalists to collect all the facts and verify them. These days, we read the papers and listen to the 6 o'clock news for 'informational entertainment.' Hmmm...be careful what you wish for.
But then again, you get the die hard definitions as well. The kind you felt you got from Walter Cronkite:
The style of writing characteristic of material in newspapers and magazines, consisting of direct presentation of facts or occurrences with little attempt at analysis or interpretation."Little attempt at analysis or interpretation"--Gee, who writes or reports like that anymore?
Bottom line, you can argue with Trunk all you want--my problem with her post is that she considers the lack of fact and truth in the journalism people are reading and listening to every day is a good thing.
UPDATE: Check out Penelope's response in the comments and add your 2 cents as well.
Technorati Tag: Media Bias.