Time for journalists to acknowledge that they write from a set of values, not simply from a disinterested effort at truth?

As Columbia Journalism Review puts it, “one gets the sense that the pitch of anti-press sentiment is now the most fevered it’s been since the founding of the republic. In fact, presidents from George Washington on, including Thomas Jefferson… judged newspapers to be full of lies. “. Sounds familiar?

Credits: cjr.org

Readers responsibility to discern for themselves the difference between what can be trusted as factual and reporter’s judgment. 

“… the old days of ritually objective news reporting (he said/she said) are not gone but have been reduced in importance from the 1970s on, as mainstream outlets have increasingly emphasized analysis in news coverage—not quite so much “who, what, when, where” as “why.” There has been a profound cultural shift in journalism during this period. The limitations of straitjacketed objectivity came to be understood and journalism began to embrace the necessity of interpretation… In the face of the severe economic problems afflicting daily newspapers, leading metro dailies have continued, whenever possible, to pursue aggressive, analytical journalism. This places great responsibility on readers to discern for themselves the difference between what can be trusted as factual and what represents the reporter’s judgment—a judgment that, however conscientious, goes beyond documented facts.”

“It may also be time for journalists to acknowledge that they write from a set of values, not simply from a disinterested effort at truth.”

“This will not be easy, since journalists have spent decades denying that their personal values have anything to do with their news reporting.”

Trust is personal. Personal is Trust.

“Tom Rosenstiel, the executive director of the American Press Institute, told her that for many people, “there’s ‘the media’ (bad) and there’s ‘my media’ (fairly good).” Likewise, he noted, people have little faith in Congress but think their own local representatives are okay.

Sounds familiar? Yep. We wrote about this…

developed in this post: While distrust is general, trust definition is personal.

Bottom line: Media should strengthen their brand values with the upmost  transparency to increase Reader’s trust.

Questions? Shoot!

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Freddy Mini

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