Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. on journalism

In journalism, we validate statements. Period. That’s the whole job. For about 100 years, the essence of journalistic education has been to teach elementary discipline about the handling of facts, like the need for multiple independent sources. This training is how our industry gets useful work out of employees whose judgement, intelligence and veracity readers otherwise would have no reason to trust. As recent events have proved, let these disciplines slip even a bit, let reporters fall back on their native judgement and instincts and preferred “narratives,” and readers quickly learn just how well-founded such distrust is.

From the Wall Street Journal.

That is why Fairfax failed. Why the ABC requires a $1 billion subsidy.

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10 Responses to Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. on journalism

  1. stackja

    ABC has support from the ignorant and gullible. SMH won’t last much longer.

  2. Tel

    In journalism, we validate statements. Period. That’s the whole job.

    Did you validate that statement?

    Seems more like wishful thinking than observation of what’s been going on.

    As recent events have proved, let these disciplines slip even a bit, let reporters fall back on their native judgement and instincts and preferred “narratives,” and readers quickly learn just how well-founded such distrust is.

    Nothing recent about it. https://www.azquotes.com/author/14883-Mark_Twain/tag/journalism

  3. Don McLean wrote a song that could well be redone on ‘the day that journalism died’.

  4. Roger

    “If I had a daughter and she was seduced I would not despair of her. I would still hope for her redemption. But if I had a son and he became a journalist and remained so for five years, I would give up on him.”

    S. Kierkegaard (+1855).

  5. Dr Fred Lenin

    The leftoids stuffed journalism when they substituted their university indoctrination courses in place of the ols apprenticship system . Instead of kids learning from old experienced real reporters they were in the hands of narxist fascist indoctrinators , the kids had no chance of learning balanced thoughtfull reporting,they only knew the stenographers party line ,fortunately print journalism is dying rapidly ,and only fools believe TV and radio stenographers . The pulitzer prize now goes to the most flamboyant lying propagandist ,probably a black female lesbian convert to islam with strong leftnazi leanings .

  6. Beachcomber

    Dr Fred Lenin at 1:52 pm

    The leftoids stuffed journalism when they substituted their university indoctrination courses in place of the ols apprenticship system .

    This has been the most effective and damaging part of the Marxist march through the institutions. Any sensible conservative government would de-fund schools of journalism at the universities along with all the Marxist indoctrination centres.

  7. Boambee John

    Beachcomber

    The problem would remain that the “apprentice mentors” under a revised system would all be the products of the present system, which would thus perpetuate itself.

    Nuke them from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.

  8. Tel

    Any sensible conservative government would de-fund schools of journalism at the universities along with all the Marxist indoctrination centres.

    The government thought they were benefiting from it … and no doubt there’s a lot of people in government who still benefit from it. Trouble is, halfway through the dance you forget who’s leading.

  9. Tel

    https://libertarianinstitute.org/scotthortonshow/3-26-19-ray-mcgovern-was-right-about-russiagate/

    This is worth a listen if you don’t mind a touch of conspiracy now and then. Fair warning that Scott Horton is somewhat anti-Israel and a touch one-sided on that specific topic … but in this particular interview he doesn’t get distracted by that. Ray McGovern is a trump hating leftist, but with long, long CIA experience and scrupulously careful about getting his ducks in a row. McGovern is kind of “old school” in his approach to respectful partisanship with certain lines you simply never cross.

    Both of these guys come out in favour of Trump, and call out the who Russiagate as an attempted coup, trying to wrestle government out of the hands of a legitimately elected President.

  10. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    One of the great ironies of US journalism studies is the amount of bureaucracy in the system. The effect is largely to make plain sentences wordy and lifeless. They also impose a remarkable amount of cost. I think it was Murdoch who became obsessed when he bought the WSJ and discovered that the average story was handled by about 10 editors or something.
    On top of all that digital disruption’s pressures has carved into the better trained and experienced staff in most news media and a new class of celebrity commentators has become almost dominant. Following the business model of social media they divide the territory into tribal units and cut their cloth to fit: right-left and all the various fractions beyond.
    My own theory is that reliable, plain news presented with care will come back but only for those who value it enough to pay. SMH, Age, Oz etc are doomed to go down screaming, literally.

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