,hl=en,siteUrl='http://0ldfox.blogspot.com/',authuser=0,security_token="v_SeT2Tv8vVdKRCcG9CCW-ZdIfQ:1429878696275"/> Old Fox KM Journal : HARPER: Journalism education

Thursday, August 15, 2013

HARPER: Journalism education

A good piece on news reporting problems by Prof. Harper is here:

And my two cents:

At 67, I have personally been involved in perhaps 15 or 20 news stories over the years, and in each and every one of those stories the press got it, or some significant part of it, wrong.  Why should I expect that any of the stories they tell that I know nothing about personally would themselves be accurate?  The young people are wise not to trust or believe the press without having the benefit of personal knowledge of the facts themselves.

From 1964, when Abe Rosenthal jump-started his editorial career, parlayed an imagined deplorable narrative into a Pulitzer, and ultimated in his rise to publisher of the Old Gray Lady on the literal body and blood of Kitty Genovese, cold-blooded murder victim in Kew Gardens, NY, the press has been more concerned with ambition and fame than with accuracy and truth or with good government and reform.  That false story of 28 eye witnesses who refused to call police--a story that is now memorialized and repeated daily in college psychology textbooks and classes as if it was true--was really about how NYC's simplistic Sullivan Law disarms victims like Kitty Genovese, John Lennon, and thousands of other, innocent, law-abiding residents from lawfully carrying a concealed firearm for self-defense.  Abe missed the real story, defamed the residents of a clean and responsible neighborhood, and did nothing to correct the law responsible for her death.  It was at bottom a false story.

Significantly, the NYT story that caused the Sullivan Law in 1911 was itself inaccurate by describing a Gramercy Park killing with a revolver where all "seven shots" were discharged into the victim.  There has never been a 7-shot revolver known to Man in NY or anywhere else on God's green Earth!

Even this week, we read an item from the London Independent about Kylie Minogue reporting to police a threatening message via Twitter.  The story says Kylie is 43 years old. Kylie is 45 years old, a fact readily ascertainable in five seconds online. You may say "that is immaterial to the story," to which i say, "then why print it?" Someone will read that story and believe and say that the woman is 43.  It's not true! It is false, isn't it?

What about Sam Donaldson's 20/20 expose of "Aggressive Drivers" on the GWMP? That was a total set up made possible only by driving his ABC Econoline van full of cameras spot on the 45 MPH speed limit (according to a non-calibrated Ford factory speedometer) in the left lane and refusing to give way to overtaking vehicles as required by the vehicle code and the Rules of the Road. 

Didn't we see that pretty reporter, whose name I forget, from Miami ruin her first network assignment by faking an explosion and fire in a car that the crew rigged to blow up on a rear-ender? She was quickly sent back down to the minor leagues in Miami... But no apology. No retraction.

We hear reporters describe a perpetrator as an African-American, where nothing was spoken, and there is not one shred of evidence that the person was American at all.

Rumsfeld's autobiography discloses the reaction of "respected" and big wig Washington journalists when they were notified and corrected on false and inaccurate reports.  They just don't care.

This profession has squandered all of its integrity. Putting Fred Friendly in Columbia University quickly became a mere a sales tool for colleges bursars.  A PhD in "journalism!"  How grandiose!  Forgive me if anyone is offended, but this is not a "Profession."  It's show business. It is advertising.  It is retailing.  They are assistants and support staff for used car salesmen, aren't they?  The vast majority of so-called journalists are not writers at all.  They are typists.

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