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View Diary: Democracy—the original crowdsourcing (120 comments)

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  •  The chilling effect is the most critical factor (0+ / 0-)

    There's a long history that led to the concepts of objective journalism.

    Edward R Murrow also asked Liberace about finding the "right girl" to marry.

    Different sources provide different facts. That's why corroboration and evidence are critical to the practice of professional journalism.

    Few No newspapers can afford to pay professional journalists any more. Journalism education is heading for extinction, imo. Even an occasional front page article is written by an intern.

    Editors report to biased and cowardly boards  Anything that might offend a subcriber is forbidden. Anything that might offend a politician or a business leader to the point of losing access to their press releases is forbidden. One major MN paper is owned by a former publisher of Sports Illustrated. There's a reason that the only news about Michele Bachmann were puff and fluff pieces.

    Yes, critical thinking isn't taught any more. Fewer and fewer teachers are able to think critically. They can't teach what they weren't taught.

    Worse, civics classes don't exist in many school districts any more. American history is often an advanced elective class, no longer basic or required. In Texas, history textbooks contain lies and bullshit.

    The tiniest threat of publishing something that might contain something questionable that somebody else might challenge and suggest that you lied would hae a severe chilling effect on journalism if such a thing were prohibited by law. Such a law would be unconstitutional anyway.

    IMO, free speech is overrated. The US Constitution does not define any laws. The 1st Amendment is not a license to say whatever you want. It's that "Congress shall make no laws..." phrase that matters.

    Transparency and mandatory disclosure is an effective remedy. Money is not speech. Corporations are not people. Yada, yada, yada. You know the drill.

    "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

    by GrumpyOldGeek on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 10:29:39 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I am curious (1+ / 0-)
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      why making a law regarding what news organizations are allowed to do, would violate the first amendment.

      I concede that having the law say you cannot lie, would be untenable (although I would love to hear the debate in congress - how would you argue that lying is a good thing (especially those who proclaim to be Christians, since this is also one of the commandments).

      Regarding the first amendment, I think that if the law was limited to news programs, this could be crafted as citizen protection, and truth in advertising.  After all, no one else gets to make false claims about the product that they produce and sell.  Why should news organizations.

      I think those above who have stated that the law could be around reporting facts, without inference and conclusion, may be a better approach.

      •  I wouldn't argue lying is a good thing ... (1+ / 0-)
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        ... It's just not legislatible. And the results, if it were, would be untenable, I think.

        I don't agree with the comment that all editors are cowed by the boards of newspapers. Indeed, most want the patina of objectivity, even if it's not the reality.

        A lot of filtering, conscious or un-, occurs at the reporter level. Sources dry up if you embarrass them or contradict them with actual analysis. Paragraphs get too long when you cover both - or, heaven forbid, all - sides. You run over the time limits assigned to your TV time slot if you cover all aspects, especially when it's You the Reporter and not an authoritative "expert" who's trying to be balanced. And worst of all, most reporters or even anchor people aren't prepared to handle off-the-wall allegations made by guests. (Psst: That is why they concoct them.)

        This NO LIE standard is great, just unrealistic. After all, it's always and only the other side who "lies", right?

        2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 03:51:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
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          GrumpyOldGeek, TRPChicago

          for your feedback.  It all makes sense.  But I actually disagree with 'it's always and only the other side who "lies", right?'.

          I think both sides have lied, or do lie.  That being said, I think the level, degree and volume of lies told by Fox News, and their ilk, make the lies told by others seems (almost) reasonable by comparison.

          To me, it is an interesting discussion.  How do we get our news sources to do a better job of being honest with the American people.  I have been caught off guard by the things people believe, when questioned, they reference (mostly) Fox News.

          It really does make it harder to have 'United' States, when some relatively large part of the population are fed a daily dose of propaganda masquerading as news.

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