[Local news anchors] can no longer say 'As we told you yesterday,' because chances are people weren't watching yesterday. . . .
We as journalists need to communicate in an entirely different way if readers or viewers are only with us occasionally, . . . We can't assume that they are loyal or that they trust us because they use us on a regular basis. We have to forge an entirely new relationship with people who are really no longer friends but acquaintances.
Why only local
news anchors? The ones in trouble are the national broadcasters.
And if they want to "communicate in an entirely different way," they ought to drop the "we as journalists" baloney, and try thinking like their viewers instead of their fellow journalists. It's this arrogance and pretension that does them the most damage, especially when they get caught doing things like presenting phoney documents as real evidence.
I've said it before, journalists should be required to take a course in evidence, as law students are. The rules are made to prevent this kind of shoddiness. Of course, in a newspaper or televised report, there's no one there to stand and object. Now that bloggers and talk radio are doing just that, the journalists want them to shut up. Journalists and their editors see themselves as both advocates and judges. We the jury aren't supposed to ask questions.
Further on, Rosenstiel is quoted as saying, "Blogs and 'so's your mother'-style talk shows are distorting news in America beyond what anyone could have imagined 10 years ago. . . . The public is finding it more difficult than ever to distinguish between legitimate news and unverified drivel." How does he define his terms? I doubt that the study asked people if they preferred "legitimate news" or "unverified drivel." Those are judgmental and tendentious terms, not factual ones.
Actually, the public seems to be a better judge of what is "legitimate news" than the press is. It is the interests and needs of the public that determine news, not the other way around. The news business wouldn't exist without an audience. but it seems to have become an end in itself for its practitioners. And the public is pretty good at recognizing "unverfied drivel." Just ask Dan Rather and Mary Mapes.
Blogs and talk radio are examples of markets being served. Rosenstiel's comments reek of arrogance and a sense of entitlement, and it's this "journalism" attitude, rather than the goal of delivering truth, that are hurting the MSM. "Journalism" and journalism schools are the symptoms of a business that has turned its back on its consumers.
(via Mickey Kaus
Update: Thomas Lipscomb
gets what's going on. So does Dick Rogers
, although he repeats some of the journalistic condescension:
Asking whether bloggers are journalists is also the wrong question because it confuses the medium with the messengers.
To answer with an unqualified "yes" is like saying that a panhandler with a good pitch is an orator, all runners are sprinters, or anyone with a pencil and sketchpad is an artist.
To flatly say "no" leaves out a universe of those who find news, challenge our thinking and otherwise breathe oxygen into the democracy -- in itself a pretty good definition of journalism.
From the colonial pamphleteers to the penny press, newspaper barons to the age of radio and television, journalism has evolved and absorbed a wide range of styles and media. It's a big tent. Why shouldn't there be room for bloggers?. . .
Five minutes with an Internet directory such as www.globeofblogs.com will turn up blogs that don't even bother to guess at the truth. They traffic in falsehood, innuendo and purposeful distortion. Journalism? I sure hope not.
He doesn't say which blogs he means. The last line, though, sounds a lot like Mary Mapes and Dan Rather to me--oops! They aren't bloggers, but are they journalists?