“And that’s what’s wrong with contemporary journalism…”

Michael Walsh on Dave Weigel, Ezra Klein, and Journolist:

Let’s start with this fact: in the old days of “dispassionate” professional journalism, there likely would not have been a place either for Weigel or Klein on a major newspaper, and certainly not on the national level. Both — were they hired at all — would have served several years down on the farm, learning the craft of reporting on the police beat in Boise and at sewer-district commission hearings in Hartford, before getting the call to the Show. Both would have learned that before opinions come facts and that in order to find facts, one must first divest oneself of opinions, in order to properly form them down the line. Weigel and Klein are not only what’s wrong with contemporary journalism, they’re emblematic of what plagues the whole country right now, which is being run by a collection of ardent adolescents, devoid of experience but brimming with fierce rectitude and a burning desire for payback against inherited or imaginary cultural grievances.

Ouch. And I often find myself thinking that maybe flinging the door open about our biases is the best and only way for us to fairly evaluate reporting. I tend to be of the camp that objectivity is a goal, but not an end. Maybe I am wrong. Walsh makes a great argument for it, and what’s more, connects it to a broader issue in society.


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