This Just in: Journalism is Dead
Your job is to deliver facts to the public so that we may form our own opinions on the topics and events of the day. Maybe you were nursing a killer hangover the day this was covered in your journalism ethics class, or maybe your professor was duller than Keanu Reeve’s performance in “My Own Private Idaho,” but that’s really no excuse. I hate to be the one to tell you this but your opinion, though you are entitled to it, is not news. I think I speak on behalf of most people who are old enough to remember REAL journalists when I say, kindly shut the hell up. I don’t care what you think anymore than you care what I think. Your opinion is not information so please spare us…and yes, I am fully aware of the irony of my current rant, so don’t bother mentioning it.
If I Only had a Brain
I understand that some of you may feel we, the mere plebeian public at large, are nothing short of knuckle dragging troglodytes incapable of using rational thought and feelings to form our own opinions on such important matters as politics, the economy, foreign policy and global warming, but this simply isn’t so. If you were more familiar with the word “fact“ then you might not labor under such beliefs. It’s insulting enough that the average newspaper article is written at an 8th grade reading level, but your assumption that we need you to tell us what to think and feel is infuriating! And before I forget, the word “what” reminds me of something you might want to bone up on:
A Journalism Primer
Since you seem a bit confused as to precisely what your role as a journalist is, I’ve put together this primer for you! What can I say…I’m awesome like that. These are the questions that you, as a journalist, are expected to answer. Read them over a few times and commit them to memory. I think you’ll find that once you’re doing your job correctly this information will come in handy.
- and How?
That’s it! That’s all you need to report. Please note that words like “bias“ and “opinion“ are not listed. There’s a reason for that. It is not part of your job to cloud or color the information presented. It is your job to report facts not further your personal agenda. Are you starting to catch on? Unless you’re Andy Rooney, I don’t want to hear your opinion…and if you are Andy Rooney, I’m still not so sure I want to hear it…you can be grumpy sometimes.
Porky Pig Said It Best
That’s all folks. I hope you have learned a little something here today. It’s a shame this wasn’t adequately covered in college, your internship or your job description, but hey…better late than never, right? By misrepresenting opinion as fact you are doing a disservice to the public. Empower people by giving them the facts and just the facts. You can make a difference in the world by telling the unpolluted, unbiased truth. Give it a try…you just might like it.
Kisses & Chaos,
Alli Woods Frederick
photo credit: Toe Tag by Jackaroid