So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Journalist or Reporter. Just the facts, ma'am.

Journalism
—what storytellers developed to give them something to do when there was no news to report.
Journalists juxtapose, excerpt and paraphrase to invent a narrative. Reporters, true reporters at least, present all the information—i.e., the facts—and let the reader evaluate the news.

We need more reporters. That is, men and women who accurately report the facts in a timely and complete manner. We do not need journalists who spin or interpret or manipulate information to make it consumable. Let the consumers of the news assume responsibility for interpretation of the facts.

A truly free press is guided by a sense of integrity and responsibility. Editorializing is unnecessary in an age when people have access to primary sources via the internet. Yes, the facts can get skewed in the varied forums of the internet, but instead of multiple layers of journalistic accretions built up on the information, we simply need reporters to verify the information as true or false. We do not need editorializing that robs people of their responsibility (their obligation?) to use their brains.

Bloggers have been successfully untangling journalists' and politicians' flights of fancy for years, and as news moves permanently to the internet, journalists will be compelled to represent the facts with vastly improved accuracy or risk losing entirely the respect and support of those they claim to serve. All the facts, not just the facts that support an editorial bias.

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