I commend our discussion leaders this morning. I didn’t give Lindsay and Minyoung enough time. I’ll figure out how to make quizzes shorter. And not everyone liked being called on, but I measure a discussion’s success in part by how many voices were heard. By that measure, we had a good morning.
Finally, you see that I am physiologically incapable of shutting up. I try really, really hard. I’ll try harder. A big “thank you” to Lindsay and to Minyoung for being our pioneers, our trailblazers. The first discussion is the hardest one to lead.
So, to extend and expand our discussion here in the limitless online environment, I’d like to pose a few more brain ticklers to which time did not permit attention (our fearless leaders had three pages of questions).
First, I’d like to return us to Minyoung’s chart of how inter-related, interconnected Korea’s media and political networks are. We in the United States face a similar challenge, that of media consolidation. To Minyoung’s chart I’d like to add this one from Columbia Journalism Review (select a media company, like News Corp., and see the mind-numbing list of properties; it explains much in the area of product placement and cross-promotions).
My question: What in your opinion are the greatest threats to American journalism’s obligation to the truth and to fierce independence? What, in other words, are the corrosive influences upsetting or polluting our collective pursuit of truth, of meaning, of sense?
Another follow-up I’d like your thoughts on concerns how journalism sometimes fails in its attempt to report or provide the truth. This was an interesting question from this morning. What, in other words, are the more common ways a fuller account of the truth (or a truth, or some truths) is prevented? Some options here include bias in the news, a failure to provide a complete account (insufficiency), and allowing one voice or one side or perspective to color or even dominate the account (the first callback often shapes the rest of the story; it’s human nature). What do you think?
And the natural follow-up to the follow-up: What can we do as digital storytellers to avoid these sand traps and stay in the fairway?
Finally, our “list,” the centerpiece of our discussion. Kovach and Rosenstiel encourage us to:
- Never add anything that was not there.
- Never deceive the audience (or the people formerly known as the audience; as one blogger famously put it, speaking to journos: “We [bloggers] will fact-check your ass!).
- Be as transparent as possible about your methods and motives.
- Rely on your own original reporting.
- Exercise humility (this will protect us against assumption)
- Maximize truth and minimize harm.
- Act (fiercely) independently. (Briona)
- Do your own work. (Michael Oreskes, The New York Times)
What is missing from this very fine list?
DEADLINE: 6 p.m. Sunday (SuperBowl 43 kickoff!)