Sunday, September 13, 2009

Journalism and blather

In a well-reasoned and intelligent attempt to describe the current interaction between the American news media and bloggers, Mark Bowden pretty well describes why I no longer waste much of my time with the one or the other:
"I would describe their approach as post-journalistic. It sees democracy, by definition, as perpetual political battle. The blogger’s role is to help his side. Distortions and inaccuracies, lapses of judgment, the absence of context, all of these things matter only a little, because they are committed by both sides, and tend to come out a wash. Nobody is actually right about anything, no matter how certain they pretend to be. The truth is something that emerges from the cauldron of debate. No, not the truth: victory, because winning is way more important than being right. Power is the highest achievement. There is nothing new about this. But we never used to mistake it for journalism."
Right: it's polemic. And it's boring polemic. My side is right; the other side is wrong, or possibly evil: repeat over and over and over again. As far as I can tell, not actually watching it very often, US cable news is now either the exact same thing, or it's a series of staged face-offs between two or more polemicizing shit-heads.

It's why I don't get my news from television or the blogs- complain all you want about the dryness of The Economist, but its coverage is consistently well-reasoned, well-documented, intelligent, judicious, fair-minded, balanced, and cool-headed. It's journalism, in other words.

And you can read it for free on-line, if you're so inclined.

(This is not a paid advert for The Economist, although if they'd like to renew my subscription for free, I'd not quibble a bit.)

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