Saturday, November 20

The Part of theTruth That We Know Best and Nothing But The Truth

Rather than blogging the Big Issues here, I try to blog A Day in the Life of a Content Quality Assurance and Creativity Cat Herder: Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head, and so on.

But I like the devil's advocacy Jay Rosen of Pressthink is up to these days:

oppose those who, holding to a particular professional religion in journalism, continue to claim that it is the religion-- the one way to practice a commitment to truth-in-reportage. It simply isn't true that truthelling in journalism ends when you leave the neutral zone and abandon the view from nowhere. If that were the case, then Salon.com--which, Scott Rosenberg told me, "self-identifies as opposition press"--would not be capable of truthtelling. Neither would the Weekly Standard, or TomPaine.com, or the National Catholic Reporter, or Reason magazine. But they are capable of truthtelling, so Shaw is leaving something out. What's he's leaving out is the possibility that other religions are spreading the good word about journalism-- and maybe even better ones will emerge for the times in which we live. I oppose, then, the simple-minded and far-fetched claim that The Contraption has only one truly thinkable alternative, which is bias-- news-as-propaganda, Pravda-style, for people who don't think. This is Shaw's "suggestion" in the sense that he examines no alternatives but those two: believe in objectivity or abandon yourself to bias.

My emphasis. I am attracted to that point of view. After all, isn't "all the news that's fit to print"--the New York Times' famous motto--the pinnacle of arrogance? How about "the world as seen from a vital and fascinating international city"? That's a marketing promise your editors can actually cash.

On the other hand, I hate to see the press and media line up behind the two political donation soliciting corporations that have put themselves in charge of fabricating candidates for officed. That's why I don't belong to either one of them. Where is there a newspaper, TV channel or radio station that caters to my specific fiscally conservative, libertarian-leaning, secularist, humanist, quietly Christian socialist, internationalist, urban, pro-labor AND pro-business, anti-Big Government, Social Security trust fund-supporting, California-born, Brooklyn-dwelling, harshly skeptical, flippy-floppy, pragmatic self? Mostly I have to produce it myself, using RSS, blogs, MP3, and maybe TiVO at some point. I don't rely on the Times for my entire worldview--I like the Scotsman for international news, even though I don't keep up with Celtic vs. Rangers, but I do keep up with Corinthians through the Folha de S. Paulo--but it is definitely part of my daily mix tape. They grow good writing on certain topics there, the way that France grows good grapes and Iowa grows good corn, even if most of what they have to say about, for example, blogging, is hogwash for the Style section. ...

We are a multitude of micromarkets. Cater to us!

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