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November 17, 2008


I think people would pay more attention to the the media if they had some sort of accountability and standards. When an entire story can be written, published in print, then posted on internet to become viral, and the basis for the facts are "an unnamed source", or "close sources say", on and on. Writers have an opinion, as long as they can fabricate details to back it up and print it, without any concern for truth, then its no better than the "fake" rolex's they sell on the streets of NYC. Think if your plumber, electrician, or dentists were held to the same "non-standards". If you need examples, go anywhere, but start at the grocery check out.

With unattributed sources there should be tighter standards and this is an issue that was dealt with at the NYTimes back in 2005/2006 or so. There are some sources -- say in government -- that can not disclose information with attribution. In order to get information "off the record" or information relevant to a story, a reporter has to make a judgement call and that is why journalists protect sources. What the standards evolved, though, in order to prevent propaganda information from flowing without attribution, was to have the reporter cite the reason why the source requires anonymity.

I agree, though, using attribution such as "a spokesperson said" or "according to a source" provides unverifiable information and can lead to questionable facts being reported.

Sigh. I mourn the loss of standards for ANYTHING in our society. Civiility in general is gone. When I was growing up there were things one just didn't do -- most of us (rich or poor) grew up in homes where certain behavior was expected. Common sense, common courtesy and common decency were the norms for behavior in our society. Where did that go? We've let our schools rot by dumbing down education. I was astounded at what my own children didn't learn in school compared to my own education.

Our news people: Walter Cronkite, Ed Murrow, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley were men of honor and honesty and while each had his own spin, we pretty much got it straight. They took pride in journalistic integrity.

Today it's about sound bytes and headline grabbing with no regard for the truth. It's like McDonald's -- it's fodder not real food.

I frankly am sick and tired of our media and mourn the loss of integrity. The average high school graduate can't even spell integrity much less understand what it is.

As to solutions, I'm at a loss. Even if the Fairness Doctrine was reinstituted, nothing would change because I long felt that the younger people of today think that rules are for other people. And that saddens me.

I hope this makes sense -- I ramble when I rant and this upsets me a lot.

Fascinating post. However, Obama frequently makes reference to the Lincoln writings, and he just started reading the newest book on FDR. He is still reading -- books are probably better than blogs -- which I hope he continues to do. I like that my President is well-read!

I tire so quickly of sensational headlines, which are full of false truths, and the nightly news taglines that start at 8, startling you with some revelation to keep you up past your bedtime -- only to find out, it really wasn't the way they said it would be.

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