OK, I really don’t think it is a mystery. We know that journalism schools select for left wing bias in their students and that they try to inculcate it where it is not already present. They don’t really bother pretending otherwise anymore.
But another part of the problem is that people go into journalism for the wrong reasons. Even without the bias of their professors and their profession helping them along we simply get the wrong cohort applying to be reporters. I always thought an introductory journalism teacher should ask his class why they chose the major they did. He should ask how many people are there to make money or to make a living. The ones who say yes should be put at the back of the class. Then he should ask how many are there to make a difference. No doubt pretty much the entire class will proudly raise their hands. He should then ask everyone with their hands raised to step into the hallway while he locks the door and bars it to their reentry.
Simply put, if you aren’t there to report the facts in exchange for a paycheck, but rather to change society in some way then you are obviously unfit to be a journalist. Why is this you say? Because wanting to make a difference presupposes that you have some idea of which way you want society to move. It is understood that no one wants to make a difference for the worse. They want to move the country “forward.” But if you have an idea of what “forward” is — of what direction you want the country to go — then you are already not an honest broker of information which is your sole function as a journalist. You have disqualified yourself before you even begin. Social change is a byproduct of journalism. Not the goal.
We saw a good example of this phenomenon recently with reporters tweeting about the coverage of the riots in Ferguson, MO where a man was shot after allegedly strong-arm robbing a convenience store and attacking a cop. NY Magazine writer Annie Lowrey tweeted;
I’ll take “some reporters becoming part of the story” over “too few reporters covering an important social-justice issue” any day.
How the right to rob people and attack cops with impunity is a social justice story is anyone’s guess. But she wasn’t willing to wait to let the facts develop so she ends up making an ass of herself by inserting herself and her ideology into the story. She doesn’t understand that she has cast aside all of her credibility with that one statement and it is pretty much the mission statement of her entire debased profession. It is why we don’t trust reporters.
They have an agenda. They want to make a difference. They don’t hide it or apologize for it. Thus they are partisan and useless. Here they have once again given out completely bogus information because their ideology does not value truth… or at least truth is further down on the list somewhere after moving the country in the right direction and making the right connections with all the right people.
Another problem with today’s journalists are that they are completely devoid of life experience or job skills outside their bubble. One reporter found foam ear plugs laying on the ground at the protests roiling Ferguson and thought they were rubber bullets. It is hard to imagine someone being that removed from doing any sort of manual labor that they would not be able to recognize the simple tools that people use in various professions. Yet this happens all the time. We have the most credulous, most biased, least experienced and least inquisitive cohort doing our reporting for us. I say they are the least inquisitive because that is a natural consequence of thinking you already have everything figured out by the time you enter Honors English class in high school.
They are like little clones, each with the same biography and interests. None having done anything of substance or having pursued other careers where success is measured by objective standards and obtained by sweat, blood and tears… all while hunkering down in fear of the vengeful wrath of an unpredictable and illogical government hovering over their every move. Journalists have an entire constitutional amendment protecting them from such micromanaging. The rest of us do not. If they had a regulation on how many adjectives they can use like we do on what sorts of energy we can use I suspect they would sing a different tune.
It would be better if they would at least admit their bias. Perhaps news agencies could put require reporters to include how they voted in their byline like they do politicians so you can see what sort of bias you are getting and weigh their statements accordingly… Annie Lowrey – D, New York Magazine.
Thatch – L, Helms Deep