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March 03, 2010


An editor of a European quality newspaper once said to someone “it’s not enough to have a good story; it also has to be sold, and someone has got to buy it.” So journalism lives and dies in the marketplace, like anything else in market democracy. This is what causes ‘bad journalism.’ This pressures to buy and sell, leads to mass conformity, rather than quality. It has serious consequences for journalism. Simply put, the values of the marketplace influence and control the nature and quality of the journalism. And this isn’t just happening in the US, it’s a global disease, especially now as democracy fades away.

Bad journalism is something that has been made extremely popular in our society. My best guess is because it has become the quest for ratings. There are a number of ridiculous reports that have been made out of bigger news than they really were, and its really sad because not everybody wants to read nor watch the national Enquirer when they look for news stories.

'Are we being offered an accurate picture? The full picture? Is it a picture created by asking the right questions, does it capture the important facts and considers the relevant issues? Most of the time journalism does an amazing job of this task unbeknownst to the average person in the street. And then sometimes it doesn't.'

A huge thanks for Professor Howard Rheingold and his journalism students from Stanford University who were able to drive reports with no biases and serious flaws. I understand the hairline here. We must be objective and not subjective to avoid criticism from the listener.

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