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October 23, 2005

News... objective reality?

It Ain't Necessarily So (Prologue, Intro & Ch 1) -- News Writing (EL 227)

In Chapter one of "It Ain't Necessarily So" it talked about editors having blind spots. It said "'News' is not an altogether objective reality; instead, it is brought to you through the subjective decisions of reporters and editors who necessarily have blind spots, because they are only human and therefore fallible."

What I've learned so far in this class is that everyone can pick something wrong with an article or even a newspaper. Everyone has "blind spots" and only now that I've been in this class do I understand how hard it is to please everyone. As Abraham Lincoln said, "you can please everyone some of the time, and you can please some people all of the time, but you can't please everyone all of the time."

Later in the reading it says, "Some of their choices, inevitably, are better than others." Well, I'm sure the editors feel that the decisions that they made are the best ones. However, everyone will always have a different opinion. It's a no win situation!

Posted by AndrewLoNigro at October 23, 2005 10:41 PM

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As a cub reporter, that was a difficult lesson for me to learn. A competing news organization always emphasized something different about the story I had covered, and at first I worried I was doing something wrong. I'd be at a meeting where four people spoke, I'd include quotes from three of them in my radio stories, and the newspaper would do its whole story on the fourth guy.

Some of those stories may be more newsworthy than others, but there are as many ways to be "right" in journalism as there are ways to be "wrong". It Ain't Necessarily So will emphasize a lot of ways to be wrong, particularly when statistics are concerned. (But don't worry, we'll get to more positive things in We the Media, later in the term.)

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at October 23, 2005 11:08 PM

I'm glad to hear that because right now it seems like journalism is a now win situation. It's seems so hard to do anything right!

Posted by: Andy LoNigro at October 25, 2005 09:36 AM

Andy, I think that you probably feel that way because, halfway through the semester, you've had more practice and are more skilled at seeing weaknesses in news writing. Learning how to apply the solutions is always harder.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at October 25, 2005 11:43 AM

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