Thursday, May 10, 2012
Reporting the "news"
If Chicken Little runs around and says "The sky is falling" it could be reported in three ways. The first way would be "The sky is falling". This would be inaccurate. The second would be "Today Chicken Little claimed that the sky is falling." This would be a completely accurate report but of little value. The third would be "Today Chicken Little lied. Little claimed that the sky is falling. Investigations reveal it is not." This would be a completely accurate and highly valuable report. We call the third one "journalism". I wonder which one of the three ways of reporting will be used to cover politics tonight. Experience is rapidly telling me that it is most often the second, sometimes the first. Very very seldom is it the third, even amongst those outlets who talk about the need to fund "investigative journalism."