Journalism, mass media and communication This is an excerpt of a speech given Wednesday at the International Center for Journalists' first annual Excellence in International Journalism Awards dinner in Washington.
My small message has to do with our line of work called journalism and why, according to the polls, we are now down there with the lawyers, the Congress, and the child pornographers in the public's respect and esteem. And there is a long list of reasons.
One reason is the new savagery that has become part and parcel of some of the so-called new journalism. It is marked by predatory stakeouts, brutally coarse invasions of privacy, talk-show shouting and violence, no-source reporting, and other techniques.
Another reason is something I call the new arrogance – words, sneers, and body language that say loud
and clear: Only journalists of America are pure enough to judge all others.
Another reason could be our new problem with entertainment. Garrison Keillor a few years ago warned
about the danger of trying to be fascinating rather than just informing: "When you slip into the field of
entertainment, then you will be expected to be fascinating. This is going to shorten your careers.
Nobody can be fascinating for long, but people can be accurate and responsible for an entire career.
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