Category Archives: Freedom of Speech

Does Journalism Matter?

Does journalism matter? The public no longer reads us and politicians dismiss us, says Kyle Pope.

“Here’s the bottom line,” he writes. “We do these stories because we believe in something even bigger than what will become of them.”

They are important. Readers deserve to know them. They get us closer to truth. They’re the right thing to do.

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Taxing Tech Giants To Save Journalism

Taxing tech giants to save journalism: Aiden White writes about a British proposal to fund public interest journalism.

In the end, journalism must rely on combination therapy, he writes, including traditional advertising, public subscription, charitable donations and philanthropic largess and new funds.

 

Seven Steps For A Free Press

Seven steps for a free press: “Let’s help people imagine, just for a second, a world without their regular news sources,” write Melody Kramer and Betsy O’Donovan, who propose news blackouts.

Rebuild a national belief that journalism is a public service, they write, not public enemy number one. News organizations must work together to do that.

Journalists Are Not The Enemy

Journalists are not the enemy: The Boston Globe’s editorial board publishes its response to President Trump’s attack on the media.

More than 350 news outlets joined the Globe’s move to support a free press.

“A central pillar of President Trump’s politics is a sustained assault on the free press,” writes the Globe. “Journalists are not classified as fellow Americans, but rather ‘the enemy of the people.’ This relentless assault on the free press has dangerous consequences.”

 

More On Covering Hate

More on covering hate: Amanda Darrach finds a culture gap between young technology reporters who think trolling rhetoric is funny, while older reporters take it “totally seriously.”

“Our system is geared towards media manipulation on a massive scale,” she writes. “There are a lot of reasons why we’re in the mess that we’re in. Some of it has to do with reporters making bad choices, but the system is just set up to be manipulated.”

Bottom line: “It’s our job to document the human condition, and that includes the ugly parts.”

 

Covering White Supremacist Views

Covering white supremacist views: Elizabeth Jensen writes about public outrage over NPR’s coverage of “Unite The Right2,” a racist rally.

NPR was correct to cover the rally, she writes, though “the interview was painful to hear; it had me yelling at the radio, as I know many others did.”

She concludes: “NPR has decided it will air these interviews. I am on the fence about whether they are necessary. But if NPR is going to go that route, it needs to strengthen its practices for a more responsible execution.”

 

Poll Favors Presidential Power To Shut Media

Poll favors presidential power to shut media: Sam Stein reports a poll shows a plurality of Republicans want the president to have authority to close news outlets.

“The findings present a sobering picture for the fourth estate, with respondents showing diminished trust in the media and increased support for punitive measures against its members,” he writes.

“They also illustrate the extent to which Trump’s anti-press drumbeat has shaped public opinion about the role the media plays in covering his administration.”

Staying On The Record

Staying on the record: Steven Pearlberg reports that Dean Baquet, New York Times executive editor, took a personal ethical stance in refusing to join in an off-the-record meeting with President Trump.

“I don’t think officials should be able to tell me things that I can’t publish,” says Baquet, hewing to a philosophy that journalists should control the terms of an interview.

Not wanting to be courted or wooed, Baquet says “the leader of the news gathering operation shouldn’t have access that reporters don’t get.”

Local News Death Spiral

Local news death spiral: Kyle Pope reports that job cuts at the New York Daily News signals need to avoid self-pity in journalism.

“This can’t be about us,” he writes. “It has to be about why the country should care if local news goes away, which is the trajectory we now find ourselves on. What are the effects on a democracy if local news is no longer in the picture?”

He adds: “If you’re in journalism and you can’t muster an answer to that question, you need to move on.”