Dec 8, 2010

Journalists used to have standards. But hasn't been so for a long time.

Once we actually  went to school to learn what journalism was... and got an actual Journalism department Degree.  Not "Mass Communications" or PR, or English.  We actually studied it and got graded on news writing and attributing and keeping opinion out of a story being passed off as news.

And even a stylebook on how to write a story, what the lead sentence should look like... where to attribute quotes.    I think I still have an old, green UPI broadcast style book.

I was reminiscing once years ago, getting into an argument with the late, anal-retentive NBC grammar cop Edwin Newman on what the plural of PERSON is.  Even in the 70s, he declared it was actually "PERSONS". 

No matter that Barbra Streisand sang it was "PEOPLE"  back in 1964.  At a media seminar over at KU, I argued that with him. 

He was not impressed.  He probably wouldn't like the blogosphere today where any fool can practice free speech without engaging brain.

Now this.

 So what does Rushbo mean when he describes the "New Media"?  Why are we confused?  What's the ACLU?  What's a "9th grade citizenship class"?  What's the difference between fact and opinion?  Why does the newsman on TV mix the two?

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