Media Can’t Help Editorializing the ‘News’
I understand why clear thinking people take conservative commentator, Larry Elder’s advice when he writes, “Fight media bias—read defensively.” Hell, I’ll go one further than that, Larry; “Read offensively.” Don’t just sensitize yourself to blatant opinion writing in the guise of news, but whenever you encounter it, point it out. Rant, rave, scream and literally point the finger!
In that vein, I think I’m going to start a website called N.Y.TimesSucks.com. They just can’t help editorializing the news. They don’t mean to. It isn’t some vast leftwing conspiracy as some of my peers have written. Rather, it’s just a way of life for many of today’s journalists to absentmindedly throw in an opinion here or there. Even so, any competent content editor will catch this stuff, and either edit it out or take the writer to task. So, I’m not really sure who’s more culpable here. Anyway, here’s a typical example of the kind of overt opinion writing you can expect in the publication.
“His speaking style swung between folksy and laconic to the point of sleepy.”
That statement, in reference to now ex-presidential candidate Fred Thompson, was in a news article entitled, Fred Thompson Drops Out of the Presidential Race. And it’s that kind of opinion writing (and worse) which is called news in our modern era. Such practices have become so commonplace we hardly notice, especially if the embedded editorial happens to be consistent with what we believe.
If you’re a journalist, your job is to report the news. Save the opinion writing for when you do op-eds. You may report what someone else has said about Fred Thompson’s speaking style, but as a reporter, you are bound by the profession to keep your opinions to yourself. Certainly don’t put them into a “news article” as though your opinion is fact. That’s not journalism; that’s opinion writing and you do violence to the profession of journalism every time you put your opinion into a piece of reporting and call it news.