A degree in snot

A degree in snot

: Jay Rosen gets an incredible email from a colleague, a fellow journalism professor — though they are professors from different planets. The email came from professor Thomas L. McPhail of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Jay: Do you tell your j students that they are wasting their time getting a j degree, rather they should just run out and become bloogers and pretend journalists with no commitment to ethics, laws, fairness etc. Tom McPhail ps how are the bloogers at the DNC? I am afraid that in the charge to get the scoop of the conference, that they may send out unedited or unchecked rumours as if it/they were fact. Thanks

Jay says:

That’s not the kind of note you edit or change in any way, and I haven’t touched it. Now this is the same professor Thomas L. McPhail of the University of Missouri-St. Louis who wound up in dueling quotes with your correpondent (me) in the text of a USA Today article some weeks ago, previewing bloggers at the convention. (It also made Romenesko, the daily bulletin board for journalists.) Here’s his quote:

That bloggers get front seats bothers Tom McPhail, a journalism professor at the University of Missouri:

”They’re certainly not committed to being objective. They thrive on rumor and innuendo,” McPhail says. Bloggers ”should be put in a different category, like ‘pretend’ journalists.”

The priests are nervous, eh? The people are outside the cathedral tacking up their 95 theses and the priests are sticking their fingers in their ears, trying to ignore them, telling each other that those guys outside aren’t blessed with the right to perform the sacraments of the church. They think they own “ethics, laws, fairness etc.” Hell, they think they own the truth. But, of course, they don’t. And what the priests don’t see is that the reason the rabble is organizing outside is that they are fed up with the priests and their indulgences and their failures.

Welcome to the First Reformed Church of Journalism, professor.

: UPDATE: Was thinking on the way home… So, Prof. McPhail, what do you tell your students? Do you tell them to ignore these newfangled webloggers? Do you tell them not to listen to their public? Do you tell them that their business will continue on in the future with the same revenue and resources it has had in the past? Do you tell them tell them that journalists are perfect? What do you tell them about Jayson Blair? What do you tell them about the public’s lack of trust in the news media? What do you tell them about the magnetic draw that opinionated journalism — whether FoxNews or the Guardian or weblogs — has for the public? What do you tell your students, professor?