Saturday, January 16, 2010

Journalism Rethunk

My main issue is just that the 95% crud journalism is taken seriously, combined with the fact that the errors journalists make just happen to be of a kind I find particularly abhorrent.

I learned this by publishing my misapprehensions on the subject on this blog. For some reason, it makes me compare what I've written to everything I read, to see if it matches up properly, and earlier today I suddenly thought, "There has to be some good journalism."

(If you're interested in the process, when it hit me I was reading the line, "That reality helps fuel cynicism about journalists and journalism among some — and The Daily Show may not be helping, Williams says.")

So I think I'll stop blaming journalists particularly for two flaws in humanity generally. It's not their fault that (~95% of) their jobs are inherently a bait-and-switch game, or at least not their fault that the demand exists.

Though I must wonder how much the responsibility for taking those jobs lies with the journalist. The preliminary results of my studies into self-control suggest that they don't actually have much choice. It would be the perfect solution, of course - "I'm noticing that my job isn't what it's supposed to be, so I and my entire department are quitting. Have a nice day." - it's just utterly impossible.

"So," I say to myself, "Of course most journalism is yellow. Most studies are wrong, most art is crap, most ventures fail. It's just more of the same."

The test for this new perspective is - if we magically replaced the journalists with better quality people, would journalism improve? My answer is no. Even if some of them managed to bleach their papers and keep them that way, they would be driven from the market by those that embraced the market's demand. The quality of people must not be the issue.

The only thing left is for me to Accept that near everyone will remain Ignorant of these facts. (Oh wait, also to recurse the technique that found the facts.)

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