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And now, 20 minutes of my opinion.

23 May 2013

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The Men in Gorilla Suits episode on Obsolete Jobs posted today (give it a listen, as it’s one of our best to date), but there was one job I didn’t mention as being obsolete that I really wanted to: Journalist.

I couldn’t mention it because thousands of people still have that job in this country… but in a lot of cases, it isn’t the same job it was 20 years ago.

I majored in Journalism in college, and to my view, what’s going on in the media right now bears little resemblance to what I learned. Anyone who has taken even one journalism class knows the old “truth, accuracy, and fairness” standard that’s supposed to be applied to the news… and as CNN is on in my office all day, I rarely see any of the three.

Truth and accuracy were the first to go. In the rush to get a story out before the Internet (funfact: this is impossible), cable news networks and newspapers started immediately reporting anything they could get their hands on without bothering to fact-check. Notice how you hear “a source close to (whatever)” a lot more nowadays? I suspect that’s code for “we didn’t bother to check this shit, so we’ll attribute it to an anonymous source no one can confirm.”

Fairness died soon after. News networks and papers became partisan — it’s easy to pick on Fox News here, but they’re far from the only culprit. CNN can be just as bad. They try to cover this up by saying it’s “analysis” of the story, but the news shouldn’t be about what the newscaster thinks about what’s going on. It should be, as anyone who took one journalism class can tell you, about facts, plain and simple.

This might just be me being a bitter old man (also, get off my damn lawn), but I remember when you could trust the news.

So, folks, is it just me? Do you see this happening too? If so, what news sources do you still see as reliable?

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