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September 28, 2005

Who journalists work for, Verification and Indep. from Faction

In truth, at the lowest and highest level, Journalists work for the citizens. Not just of their community or even country, but of the world. Reports from across the world land on your doorstep. Jim Bob of your hometown did not go to Korea to get you the story.

Even being contracted out by a company such as the AP or the local paper, the journalists duty is still to the citizens, not the CEO.

There was a film made a few years ago called "Shattered Glass," which told the story (true) of Stephen Glass, a writer for "The New Republic," in which all of his stories were fabricated because he was playing to his bosses, over-his-head and loved the attention.

Additional information can be found here.

When the reporter abondons the readers for money or anything else, they deserve the humiliation that will befall them, not to be put in prison like the NY Time reporter who was put in jail for refusing to reveal her source.

What a journalist must do, though, is provide the truth, inbridaled and hurtful as it may be, the truth shall set you free. It is the journalists job, although given the final say in what their news is, to remain totally invisible and silent. Granted, there are some exceptions (such as critiques, op-eds), but that's about all.

One must always verify their sources as good and reliable. They must always have the facts in line and able to be checked at a moment's notice without impudence.

Once again, all these aspects can be seen in the film.

And to remain Independent from factions may be the hardest part. In today's world, it's hard to find a job and not be polarized. I know even for myself that in my workplace, I immediate routed out the left-leaning politicos and grouped with them. If you want to work at FOX News, you have to be prepared to present a skewed view to the right. Much as most people would say the same of CNN, only to the left.

There is bias everywhere. We're drowning in it. And when a truthful story does emerge, it is immediately painted as opposition to one side's views and being imbalanced.

It sucks to be a reporter now.

Posted by KevinMcGinnis at September 28, 2005 8:36 AM


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