“Real journalism”

Stop telling journalists to do “their job.” They are doing it.

What we call “real journalism” is, and, as far as I can tell, always has been, the exception. The journalist’s job is to fill up space between ads, paraphrase press conferences, attend staged events, comment on the “controversy” du jour, etc. Adversarial types are the ones not doing their jobs. Trust me. There are countless “aspiring journalists” lined up for the increasingly scarce reporter gigs. And a lot of them are willing to work for peanuts. If news bosses wanted their reporters to do what is called “real journalism,” the stenographers who fill their newsrooms would be sacked and replaced in a second.

So we need a new word for what is still referred to as “real journalism,” i.e. investigative and adversarial reporting. Because it’s not journalism. If what is referred to as “real journalism” is only maybe 5% of what is called “journalism,” then, really, the 95% is the real journalism and the 5% is something else, hence the need for a new word. Why associate “real journalists” with the stenography and PR work of actual journalists?

Read also:
Willing instruments of propaganda

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