16 years in the making, this 36,000 motivational quote search engine can identify quotations by the name of the author, keyword, gender, general ethnicity, and by phrase. It’s yours to use for free. I think it is the most diverse, deep, and far-reaching quotation search engine on values, ethics, and wisdom anywhere in the Milky Way galaxy. Enjoy! – Jason
For years, major news organizations have been accused of falling short of the ideal of the impartiality that they espouse. Now, the very notion of impartiality is under assault, blurring the line between journalism and propaganda.
What a growing, or at least increasingly strident, segment of the population seems to want is not journalism untainted by the personal views of journalists but coverage that affirms their partisan beliefs….
In my view, a corporation is not a person. A corporation does not have First Amendment rights to spend as much money as it wants, without disclosure, on a political campaign. Corporations should not be able to go into their treasuries and spend millions and millions of dollars on a campaign in order to buy elections.
I believe democracy requires a 'sacred contract' between journalists and those who put their trust in us to tell them what we can about how the world really works.
With some honorable exceptions, Washington journalism is so far removed from reality that I am frequently reminded of the warning of a mentor some years ago: “News is what people want to keep hidden; everything else is publicity.”
Why were journalists not discussing the occupation of Iraq? Because, says Jim Lehrer, “The word ‘occupation’…was never mentioned in the run-up to the [Iraq] war. The talking points of Washington politicians declared it a war of liberation, not a war of occupation. So as a consequence, those of us in journalism never even looked at the issue of occupation.”
I've had a wonderful life, matriculating as a perpetual student in the school of journalism. Other people have paid the tuition and travel, and I've never really had to grow up and get a day job.
A free press, you see, doesn’t operate for free at all. Fearless journalism requires a steady stream of independent income.
We know that contributions from individuals, not institutions, make up most of American philanthropy, and we think some of that should be directed toward nonprofit journalism. An FCC report in 2011 found that if Americans spent one percent of their charitable giving on nonprofit media it would generate $2.7 billion a year. …But we need more than money to sustain independent journalism. We need laws to ensure that reporters can protect their sources. We need to hound government at every level to respond to public records requests. We need stronger reporting requirements for corporations so that they can be held accountable.
[Current journalistic trends] to celebrity journalism, speed over accuracy, opinion over reporting — are part of a larger dynamic that is changing journalism: the concentration of ownership in the hands of megacorporations making megamergers in search of megaprofits.
Nowadays, the argument is that the major media has a liberal bias. The major media has long been based in cities, where people tend to be more socially liberal. Additionally, people with a liberal disposition have tended to gravitate to journalism as a profession.
Reputable reporters will not take leaks at face value. They will know that they may be being manipulated by their source. The reporter will seek out confirmations and will question the source to find out if she is a primary source with direct knowledge or just passing along hallway gossip. Unfortunately, deadline pressure makes such responsible journalism harder to do. There are always news outlets willing to publish first and ask questions later. Sadly, this has led to a race to the bottom, in which disreputable news outlets get the clicks and make the money, while those that are responsible and perform due diligence lose out.
While fact checking is all to the good, my problem with it is that it shouldn’t be considered a separate journalistic function, but rather the core function of all journalism. If reporters and editors aren’t routinely fact checking everything they publish, what the heck are they doing instead?
How did we get to the point where nobody knows what news is true?
I became a journalist because I did not want to rely on newspapers for information.
I am a journalist for one reason – to use whatever skills I have to ease suffering in the world.
Thanks to my solid academic training, today I can write hundreds of words on virtually any topic without possessing a shred of information, which is how I got a good job in journalism.
Journalists of late seem too eager to change the world in various ways; the point is to describe it, accurately and carefully.
As both individuals and corporations grow more sophisticated in their ability to mask deliberate discrimination, racism becomes harder to demonstrate as a matter of law, or even journalism. But almost every day, those of us who are impressed by evidence find ourselves confronted by extremely worrisome examples of pervasive racial and ethnic prejudice in the United States.
When people ask me why I went into journalism, I say it was in part because I like to write, and that’s true. I’ve long enjoyed the challenge of putting thoughts into words, the thrill when I almost get it right and the fact that you can always do better if you keep striving, keep trying. You can spend a lifetime working at it and still have acres of room for improvement.
Who inspires confidence — and quells anxiety — about the future? We in the media have frequently cried foul at the shamelessness with which Donald Trump stirred voters’ fears, but that wouldn’t have worked if voters hadn’t been frightened to begin with. Americans have stumbled from a trademark optimism to a newfound pessimism. We see change, especially in the workforce, happening at an incomprehensible pace. In light of that, we’re not looking for gauzy banalities; we want concrete reassurance or at least something in the vicinity of that. Trump’s reductive, backward-looking fixes — tariffs, a wall — masqueraded as such.
The journalists have constructed for themselves a little wooden chapel, which they also call the Temple of Fame, in which they put up and take down portraits all day long and make such a hammering you can't hear yourself speak.
The people will believe what the media tells them they believe.
The best way to get the news is from objective sources. And the most objective source I have are people on my staff.
From the United States’ founding, the best and most consequential journalism frequently involved crusading reporters, advocacy, and devotion to battling injustice. The opinion-less, color-less, soul-less template of corporate journalism has drained the practice of its most worthy attributes, rendering establishment media inconsequential: a threat to nobody powerful, exactly as intended.
Part competitiveness and part payback for the years of professional criticism I had directed at US media stars, there was, I believe, also anger and even shame over the truth that adversarial journalism had exposed: reporting that angers the government reveals the real role of so many mainstream journalists, which is to amplify power.
Whatever one’s views are on the NSA scandal, disclosure by The New York Times of the warrantless eavesdropping program has accomplished exactly what newspapers are designed to achieve—namely, ensuring that highly controversial government programs, particularly ones of dubious legality, are subject to public debate and not concealed by the government.
After politics, journalism has always been the preferred career of the ambitious but lazy second-rate intellect. American exceptions to mediocrity’s leaden mean are, from column one, Franklin D. Roosevelt; from column two, H. L. Mencken.
American journalism’s golden (a kinder adjective than ‘yellow’) age coincided with [journalist H. L.] Mencken’s career; that is, from century’s turn to mid-century’s television. During this period, there was still a public education system and although Mencken often laughs at the boobs out there, the average person could probably get through a newspaper without numb lips. Today, half the American population no longer reads the newspapers: plainly, they are the clever half.
It’s an obscene comparison, but there was a time in South Africa when people would put flaming tires around people’s necks if they dissented. In some ways, the fear is that you will be neck-laced here, that you will have a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck, Dan Rather said: ‘It’s that fear that keeps journalism from asking the toughest of the tough questions and to continue to bore-in on the tough questions so often.’
I wasn’t surprised by this type of investigation. It is, in fact, standard operating procedure for the little lambs of American journalism. One good, slick explanation from a politician or corporate chieftain, and it’s case closed, investigation over.
Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on "I am not too sure."
Journalism can never be silent: That is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air.
A free society depends on a vigilant media. The American media, obsessed with quarterly profits and full of reporters trained to produce stories that are entertaining rather than substantive, are not doing what democracy depends on: getting the story right.
A handful of corporations are consolidating their grip on the nation’s primary information sources. Megacorporations already own the major radio and TV networks, as well as most newspapers, magazines, book publishers and movie studios. Is it any surprise that editors and news directors reflect the concerns of their corporate bosses?
With the establishment media concentrated in the hands of a few media conglomerates that answer to Wall Street, the best hope for an informed citizenry is the survival of an independent and adversary media that was envisioned when the Founders framed the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights.
The notion that patriotism is best served by the media’s uncritical treatment of powerful figures is the opposite of a democratic value.
After several decades of working in the press, I can vouch that these contradictory images of journalists as bold crusaders for a social change and as wise-cracking guardians of the status quo are both accurate.
Despotism is the enemy of the people. The free press is the despot's enemy.
While the partisans tally swear words and sling mud, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are busy making the news good again. They mock the Republicans plenty, but they're capturing larger audiences precisely because they are not just bashing Bush. Instead, they are tapping into the growing public realization that mainstream journalism has become a joke.
When I entered politics, I took the only downward turn you could take from journalism.
The critical importance of honest journalism and a free flowing, respectful national conversation needs to be had in our country. But it is being buried as collateral damage in a war whose battles include political correctness and ideological orthodoxy.
News is what someone wants suppressed. Everything else is advertising. The power is to set the agenda. What we print and what we don’t print matter a lot.
More than illness or death, the American journalist fears standing alone against the whim of his owners or the prejudices of his audience. Deprive William Safire of the insignia of the New York Times, and he would have a hard time selling his truths to a weekly broadsheet in suburban Duluth.
You’ve got a media system that is basically a subsidiary of corporate America – that’s all it is – you’re gonna have a media system that will not cover stories of tremendous public moment, while it will overfocus on trivial stories that don’t have any resonance at all.
If American journalism doesn’t get the climate story right—and soon—no other story will matter. The news media’s past climate failures can be redeemed only by an immediate shift to more high-profile, inclusive, and fearless coverage. …As the nation’s founders envisioned long ago, the role of a free press is to inform the people and hold the powerful accountable. These days, our collective survival demands nothing less.
There is no end; there are only means. Journalism is a means, and I now think that the act of keeping the record straight is valuable in itself. Serious, careful, honest journalism is essential, not because it is a guiding light but because it is a form of honorable behavior, involving the reporter and the reader.
During a recent panel on the numerous failures of American journalism, I proposed that almost all stories about government should begin: "Look out! They're about to smack you around again!"
It's been an amazing few months for journalism. After an, ahem, mixed performance in the 2016 campaign, the nation's newsrooms pulled their gumption out of storage, squared up their shoulders, and went to work investigating an administration committed not just to the usual spin and evasion, but to full-scale war on the public's right to know. The result has been something of a golden age for investigative reporting, when journalism (along with the courts, and a resurgence of civic activism) has stiffened the spine of democracy in the face of an assault on its core precepts.
One purpose of journalism is to establish accountability, and that’s particularly important before an election. Trump says he deserves an A-plus for his “phenomenal job” handling the coronavirus, but over the last month I’ve conducted a careful investigation of what went wrong — and my column concludes that the judgment of history will be far harsher.
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