« Chapter 10 -- Tunnel Vission and Blind Spots | Main | News Writing Taboos »

November 4, 2005

Final Thoughts on The Elements of Journalism

Questionable scientific theories are devoured by special interest groups and politicians and fed to the public as fact. In this pseudo-science food chain, by the time the news consumer ingests his or her daily ration of scientific data, it has been adulterated to the extent that it no longer qualifies as trustworthy.

In the summary, a familiar phase caught my eye, “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted” (187). A portion of that phase “afflict the comfortable” appeared in The Elements of Journalism (112).

As journalists, we have the responsibility to avoid the pitfalls of over-zealous, investigative reporting, which is sensationalism masked as journalism. We also have the responsibility to avoid the pseudo, scientific-data trap. In doing so, perhaps we can play a small part in returning the profession to the honorable status it deserves.

Posted by NancyGregg at November 4, 2005 10:08 AM


Hi Nancy,

When I saw I had one comment on my blog today, I knew it had to be you. Judging by the smile on your face this morning during class, I just got this feeling that you might say something. Thank you, very much.

I actively read your blog - it is just most of the time I am running on full throttle with my six other English courses and don't always have time to comment at length - which is what I would like to do.

Your writing is always very objective, and your ideas are certainly helpful for neophyte newswriters. I am glad you are in our class, and I hope you are enjoying it. Are you in any other courses currently? Newswriting has so many people in it. Sometimes, I wish we had a smaller class so we could get to know everyone. Also, the layout of the room sort of makes it hard to get to know anyone that is not in the immediate vicinity. Are you taking anything next semester? I know I only have my FINAL lit class and some other things, but maybe I will get an opportunity to know you better. It is always so nice to have non-traditional students because you all bring so much more to the table that adds to the dialogue that we are supposed to be learning to engage in in our college years.

Again, thank you for your kind words, and I am looking forward to getting to know you better in the future.


Posted by: Katie Aikins at November 5, 2005 1:31 AM