Wednesday, February 20, 2008

All The News That's Fit To Print

The NYT article on Jayson Blair frustrates me. (this one is a rant, it's not very informative.) The Times seems to distance itself from Blair and act aloof, as if it's simply reporting on an unfortunate incident. The language they use seems to be in an effort to tacitly abdicate their responsibility in the whole thing.

"Not all of what Mr. Blair wrote was false, but much of what was true in his article was apparently lifted from other news reports. In fact, his 1,831-word front-page article, which purported to draw on ''long conversations'' with six wounded servicemen, relied on the means of deception that had infected dozens of his other articles over the last few months."

The last 14 words of that paragraph (start at the word deception) are very telling in that they indicate a refusal by The Times to acknowledge that their lack of proper editing and fact-checking allowed this very thing to happen. This is illustrative of an attitude saturating the entire article with which The Times seems to say "It's not our fault." They treat the incident as something that just happened, as if the only person responsible is Blair.

Sure, he is the one most directly at fault because he is the one lying, but while journalists have a responsibility to tell the truth, outlets for journalists also have a responsibility to check on their employees. No segment I edit for my company makes it on TV without several other eyes watching it and approving it. That is the responsibility of my company -- to make sure their content is correct, accurate, appealing, and meets the standards set forth. The Times completely failed in that responsibility but didn't really seem to give much of a shit.

And because I feel bad there are no pictures or links in my blog entry so far, here are some things that have absolutely nothing to do with anything in class.

And, okay I lied, this one is actually related to journalism. I stumbled for 20 minutes and this was the first thing I found (relevant or otherwise) that I could post without regret!


1 comment:

kelly said...

I compleatly agree! the article really demonstrated how not only the person at Blame, Jason diden't fess up, but nither did NYT. They tried as hard as they could to make it seem as if he was a young reble. I just thought in my head the whole time why cant they confess that they hired a BAD reporter. Oh I know why, because he was social in the news room, that seemed to have alot of focus too.