Ever had one of those ‘eureka moments’ where you come across a previously unknown, or perhaps once known but now forgotten, piece of information that explains one of those ‘how on earth did we get here’ observations?
Example: how did we (and I can only speak for Canada and the USA) get to a place where balanced, unopinionated news is now (often) very biased journalism? Part of the answer, according to the video below (and numerous stories on the internet) was the introduction, in 2008, of Accountability Journalism.
Accountability Journalism was the brainchild (or perhaps given a voice by) Associated Press Bureau Chief, Ron Fournier. Mr. Fournier believed that the conventional press model – where both sides of an argument are entitled to equal weight – was no longer needed in journalism. In it’s place, he gave free reign to first-person emotive language in news reporting. Previously, this had been reserved for opinion editorials. He gave the journalist the power to decide what was factual and fair and whether or not to include an opposing opinion.
Is this a slippery slope where journalism becomes not an outlet for news, but becomes an interpretation of said news?
– Susan Duclos, Digital Journal, July 2008 –
Ten years later, the answer to the slippery slope question is ‘yes’:
Journalism in the U.S. has become more subjective and consists less of the detailed event- or context-based reporting that used to characterize news coverage.
– ‘Truth Decay,’ RAND –
Of course, the situation seems worse than it is if you consider there are roughly 12000 journalists in Canada and 33000 in the United States. The wackadoodle reporters are just the most visible.
Who tops your list of Journalists you trust the least? Who do you trust the most?