In the club

Brit journalists want to call us not “citizen journalists” but “citizen witnesses.” What a crock o’ crap that is. Anyone who performs an act of journalism is at that moment a journalist. Merely witnessing and not reporting is merely witnessing.

  • daudder

    diarist might be closer than either journalist (requires objectivivty and reflection) and witness (suggest passive).

  • Hmm. It is a little cheeky shall we say. However, I still believe a good MSM journalist will strive for impartialness and accuracy more than that of a citizen journalist.

    My 2pence

  • APF

    But if a given blogger strives for more impartialness and accuracy than a given reporter, is it fair to call that blogger a “journalist” and that reporter a “witness?” Doesn’t the designation follow the product, rather than the medium?

  • Ravo

    I still believe a good MSM journalist will strive for impartialness and accuracy more than that of a citizen journalist.

    After reading the following article about the heavy indoctrination practiced in journalism schools, I would need some heavily tinted pink glasses to believe that!

    At Stanford Law the ratio was 28-1 and at Columbia Journalism School 15-1. Researchers could not identify a single Republican on the faculty of the Journalism School at the University of California-Berkeley.

    “When a school promises a diverse and inclusive education,” commented David Horowitz and Joseph Light, the authors of the study, “it has an obligation to provide it. When the training institutions of entire professions — in this case law and journalism — fail to honor their commitment to academic freedom and intellectual pluralism, they and the nation at large have a serious problem.”

    In his article, titled “Where Cronies on the Left Can be Found” Tierney expostulates on the study’s findings, noting that it is ironic for journalists and legal scholars to speak of “cronyism” when it comes to picking the next Supreme Court justice while the schools that train their successors are utterly lacking in political diversity.

    “Some academics try to argue that their political ideologies don’t affect the way they teach, which to me is proof of how detached they’ve become from reality in their monocultures,” Tierney concluded. “This claim is especially dubious if you’re training lawyers and journalists to deal with controversial public policies….They keep meticulous tabs on the race and gender and ethnic background of their students and faculty. But the lack of political diversity is taken as a matter of course. As long as the professors look different, why worry if they all think the same?”

    As Tierney notes, the study’s conclusions underscore the need for greater intellectual diversity, both in the law and journalism schools and in undergraduate education (where previous surveys have revealed equally large disparities between faculty Democrats and Republicans). While the study did not examine the reasons why this disparity exists, anecdotal evidence and firsthand reports strongly suggest that professors and graduate students with dissenting views are being blacklisted in academia.

  • We had a discussion about this earlier:

    We already have a word for people who create for the love of it, rather than being paid to, and it is ‘amateurs’. As with many other pleasures, when we seek out opinions, we prefer those that flow from passion rather than from payment.

    Now it may be argued that, given the decline in the teaching Latin and French, the loving root of ‘amateur’ is no longer perceived, so those who write pour l’amour ou pour le sport may see ‘amateur’ as a slight. In which case lets retranslate it to english and call it ‘lovingly created media’.

  • Jeff, you have a plane to catch.

  • Ravo –

    If the media is so biased against Republicans, why do Republicans control all three branches of the federal government?

  • What’s wrong with just plain “freelance writer”? (almost always “unpaid freelance writer” …).

    Note: “The NUJ London Freelance Branch debate …”

  • Ravo

    Eric Jaffa asks: Ravo – If the media is so biased against Republicans, why do Republicans control all three branches of the federal government?

    Because, lucky for us all, the people that make this country hum are not the whiners, complainers, protestors, and dependents of the Democratic Party.

    Nor are they a people ready to buy into the type of secular debauchery that caused Rome to fall.

    They’ve never bought into the media lies in the New Orleans debacle, the Plame affair or the pointy fingers accusing Bush of lying about WMD.

    Watching jackals accusing decent people of things the accusers are most prone to do has angered them big time. They resent the money spent on this phoney crap, and the harm it does to America’s reputation.

    They have abandoned mainstream media en masse never to return. Mainstream media at worst is violently hated, at best is irrelevant.

    Democrats seek to convince people that they can’t make it without government. They are the Party of Creating Poverty. 40 years of Democratic Rule was evident in New Orleans with huge vote plantations the desired and acquired goal of the Democratics. Recently Jesse Jackson of the party of deceit, tried once again to put one over on the people, frantically trying to play the media and get the crop back onto the plantation before the next harvest…..but was thwarted when his bogus bus full of imposters was revealed.

    The modern Democratic Party message, teaches victimhood and government dependency.

    Liberal Democrats are worried about success stories like those of Michael Steele, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Clarence Thomas. While discussing the demographic makeup of the Supreme Court in a Nov. 1 editorial, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel implied Justice Thomas isn’t really black and that he “deserves an asterisk because he arguably does not represent the views of mainstream black America.”

    I have news for those who think this way. The so-called “mainstream” of black America, as represented by race-hustlers like Rev. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, doesn’t represent the best interests of black America. The work and personal ethics of people like Steele, Powell, Rice and Thomas do.

    “USA Today reported that not only are nine out of the ten fastest-growing states Reublican red states, but nine out of the ten fastest-growing countiews in America from 2000 to 2004 were in Republican red States.”

    Red states have low taxes, attract entrepreneurs, have healthy levels of marriage and church attendance, and robust levels of business creation and economic growth, as money left within their hands lends itself to wealth creation.

    “Blue States tend to have high levels of drug-addicted, violent crime-infested regions with decaying infrastructures, overflowing welfare rolls, and residents who are too fearful to start a businss, who are dependent on government and who continue to demand ever more services even as they are stuck with ever higher taxes and regulations. [Remember how New York used to be under Democratic rule?] Those blue states and the people stuck in them are destined for tough times.”

    You can’t fool all the people, and rarely most of them – and that’s why:

    “Americans are moving to red states where government is smaller and “Blue states will continue to lose population, power, funding from government,electoral votes, and political prominence.” …W.A. Root

  • Ravo

    Sorry for all the typos in the quote. I really shouldn’t touch type. I didn’t catch ’em in the preview.

  • Jeff, us Brits are sorely behind on all this. To use a much used phrase, UK media is ‘not getting it’ – and that’s more than the US media is not getting it. Myself and another journo did a three page piece for The (NUJ) Journalist Mag on citizen journalism last month and we got zip response. More on it here;

  • If the media is so biased against Republicans, why do Republicans control all three branches of the federal government?

    In addition to what Ravo said, the liberal media is no longer a monopoly. It is still powerful and biased; but it is no longer monolithic. Thanks to radio and internet, people who don’t think like liberal journalism school graduates have gained access to media; thanks to FoxNews, traditional media outlets are showing cracks, and are having to make more and more concessions to different viewpoints because of market pressures. This is the real fairness doctrine.

    And, besides, the question itself exposes an unsettling point of view that we often hear on the left: that citizens are mere sheep waiting for instructions from their masters (whether it be CBS or Rush Limbaugh). Even if liberals had a complete and utter monopoly on media, they wouldn’t be able to convince most normal people that parental notification of a child’s abortion is a bad thing, for instance, no matter how much effort they put into brainwashing their sheep. Many people have this disturbing tendency of, you know, thinking for themselves.

    Conservatives never wanted access to media for hypnotism purposes, but just for the purpose of discussion and persuasion. You persuade by showing people A and B, and convincing them that B is better, not by (as liberals seek to do by removing Limbaugh from Armed Forces Radio, promoting “fairness” doctrines which only limit the speech of their opponents, or building liberal-only radion stations via AirAmerica) by excluding A altogether, or wildly misrepresenting A. Well, you trap the gullible, but you don’t convince *reasonable* people.

    However, I still believe a good MSM journalist will strive for impartialness and accuracy more than that of a citizen journalist.

    Utter nonsense. We saw neither impartiality or accuracy in RatherGate. We saw none in the promotion of Cindy Sheehan. We see none in the amazingly one-sided coverage of Joe Wilson (specifically, Ed Bradley’s softball interview). We see none now that Jimmy Massey has been exposed. You don’t even see fairness or impartiality, apparently, if you’re on the fringe left, who don’t believe they are adequately represented by media because moderate liberals aren’t insane like they are.

    We see, instead, accuracy borne of that conversation Jeff Jarvis talks about. If we had to rely solely on biased no-goodnicks like Mapes, the American people would have been hornswoggled into believing forged documents. Instead, the evidence went public and both sides could examine and debate the issue. When it became clear, based on evidence and expert testimony that the documents were fake, versus the emotional justifications of those reaching for typographical straws, fairness and accuracy finally won out.

    That doesn’t mean fairness and accuracy always win out. There is such a thing as rumor and opinion, and sometimes you can never reverse smears and slurs… but at least with a conversation, fairness and accuracy have a fighting chance.

  • Oh boo-hoo, David Horowitz can’t find any conservatives in the ivory tower. Funny that the free market mentality that serves Republicans so well elsewhere is categorically rejected when not going their way, as it does in higher education. Students vote with their tuition dollars. There are plenty of “conservative” campuses out there for the poor hapless oppressed righty-in-training to attend if he or she is so offended by the liberal professioriat. And yet the vast majority of Americans choose not to matriculate at these schools. I wonder why? Because higher ed is about opening minds, not closing them (there’ll be time enough for that in corporate America!), and even families that vote Republican understand on some fundamental level that a liberal education makes for a better education, however much they publicly rail against it.