Submitted by Anonymous on May 10, 2009 - 7:42pm
a few months ago, i came as close to flaming as i have in -- what? -- 17 years of online postings about rhetorical studies. the "object" was a post here about george will, a post that described will as a "journalist".
the esteemed poster wasn't necessarily wrong ...; by certain standards will is a journalist ... as well as a decent baseball writer, tho since peter angelos bought the orioles ... well, never mind.
frank rich has a few paragraphs that might help explain the vehemence of my response to the post about george will (and rich even uses the j word):
"...Yes, journalists have made tons of mistakes and always will. But without their enterprise, to take a few representative recent examples, we would not have known about the wretched conditions for our veterans at Walter Reed, the government’s warrantless wiretapping, the scams at Enron or steroids in baseball.
"Such news gathering is not to be confused with opinion writing or bloviating — including that practiced here. Opinions can be stimulating and, for the audiences at Fox News and MSNBC, cathartic. We can spend hours surfing the posts of bloggers we like or despise, some of them gems, even as we might be moved to write our own blogs about local restaurants or the government documents we obsessively study online.
"But opinions, however insightful or provocative and whether expressed online or in print or in prime time, are cheap. Reporting the news can be expensive. Some of it — monitoring the local school board, say — can and is being done by voluntary 'citizen journalists' with time on their hands, integrity and a Web site. But we can’t have serious opinions about America’s role in combating the Taliban in Pakistan unless brave and knowledgeable correspondents (with security to protect them) tell us in real time what is actually going on there. We can’t know what is happening behind closed doors at corrupt, hard-to-penetrate institutions in Washington or Wall Street unless teams of reporters armed with the appropriate technical expertise and assiduously developed contacts are digging night and day. Those reporters have to eat and pay rent, whether they work for print, a TV network, a Web operation or some new bottom-up news organism we can’t yet imagine."
full bloviation here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/10/opinion/10rich.html
i still ain't willin' to call george will a "journalist".
but, as ever, i'm open to being told i'm wrong.
meanwhile, education for reporters -- slash -- correspondents seems to be a thing, also, of the past. what if we taught all of our students to be reporters??
i'm going to squat (thanks, josh) and give birth to another dinosaur now.