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December 19, 2010

Thinking about the press: David Cay Johnston on "news on the cheap;" Jay Rosen on "radical doubt"

Atlantic Yards Report

Who's covering Atlantic Yards any more?

From David Cay Johnston in Neiman Reports, It’s Scary Out There in Reporting Land: ‘Beats are fundamental to journalism, but our foundation is crumbling.’:

Far too much of journalism consists of quoting what police, prosecutors, politicians and publicists say—and this is especially the case with beat reporters. It’s news on the cheap and most of it isn’t worth the time it takes to read, hear or watch.

Like, um, this?

A reporter's job?

NYU Journalism Professor Jay Rosen quotes Michael Massing on New York Times Reporter Judith Miller:

Asked about this, Miller said that as an investigative reporter in the intelligence area, “my job isn’t to assess the government’s information and be an independent intelligence analyst myself. My job is to tell readers of The New York Times what the government thought about Iraq’s arsenal.”

Rosen adds:

That’s not getting the story wrong. That’s redefining the job as: reflecting what the government thinks.

"Radical doubt" and Atlantic Yards

Rosen connects the dots to WikiLeaks:

Radical doubt, which is basic to understanding what drives [WikiLeaks founder] Julian Assange, was impermissible then. One of the consequences of that is the appeal of radical transparency today.

You don't need "radical doubt" to question some aspects of Atlantic Yards. Entry-level doubt would suffice.

link

Posted by steve at December 19, 2010 10:01 AM