Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Re. EMail Response

Dean Velvel,

         Clearly diplomacy was a field I wisely chose not to enter.

         I have written numerous journalism review, magazine and newspaper articles deploring the stupid, ahistorical, lazy reporting that it is easy to find.

        My point was that there is not an ABSENCE of policy reporting -- it is available if you want it (especially with the Internet).

       Too many local papers have been turned into advertising rags.
        BUT...
       Pick up a copy of the Seattle Times, a serious newspaper in a highly competitive market and lay it down next to that day's copy of any of the larger Gannett papers and you will see the vast differences in quality.

       It is unreal to expect that political reporters (and I think my parenthetical insertion was entirely fair if you go back and read your own words) who are rushing from campaign site to campaign site, often on buses or planes controlled by the candidate's staff, to do more than chronicle what is happening right there.

       Examining policy proposals takes reasoning and time -- and cannot be done in the mad dash of a campaign trail tour. I have been there. Not possible.

        I expect we will see sharp declines in the next 20 years in those newspapers that have gone for ads instead of substance. That is horrible for local news.

       By the way, the reason people say in surveys that the trust local TV news -- even though most of its is gawdawful and lifted from the local daily with pictures added -- is one of cognitive resonance. If you watch local TV then to justify that you have to believe it, especially if you lack critical thinking skills.

       See you soon.
       David         

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