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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Thornton P. Knowles On When Journalism Is Not Journalism

I hate it when a journalist significantly manipulates facts to shape a story. A reporter will, say, omit a key fact that interferes with his preferred news narrative. For example, a journalist's lead to a story might be this: "A hero firefighter dies trying to help a fire victim." The reporter, however, leaves out the fact this fireman died trying to save the fire victim's cat. This is done because the true, complete story makes the deceased firefighter, in this reporter's mind, less of a hero. In reality, the true story is more newsworthy because it is more layered, nuanced and tragic. This kind of hack work in the name of journalism goes on all the time, and is a disgrace to the profession. Someday the word "journalism" will be deleted from the English language. Why have a word for something that no longer exists?

Thornton P. Knowles

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