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So, what is real journalism about?

It is a sad fact of life that attack seems to be the norm if someone goes out there.    Take Glenn Greenwald, the lawyer-journalist, who now writes for The Guardian, and has been in the forefront in exposing the Edward Snowden "story" - and especially the nefarious activities of the US National Security Agency.

Greenwald has been exposed to vilification and trying to "expose" something about his background.    Relevance?   Absolutely none!    The question of what true journalists are supposed to be doing is thereby raised.   It is a topic taken up in this piece "Hey, MSM: All Journalism is Advocacy Journalism" in Rolling Stone by Matt Taibbi.  

"All journalism is advocacy journalism. No matter how it's presented, every report by every reporter advances someone's point of view. The advocacy can be hidden, as it is in the monotone narration of a news anchor for a big network like CBS or NBC (where the biases of advertisers and corporate backers like GE are disguised in a thousand subtle ways), or it can be out in the open, as it proudly is with Greenwald, or graspingly with Sorkin, or institutionally with a company like Fox.

But to pretend there's such a thing as journalism without advocacy is just silly; nobody in this business really takes that concept seriously. "Objectivity" is a fairy tale invented purely for the consumption of the credulous public, sort of like the Santa Claus myth. Obviously, journalists can strive to be balanced and objective, but that's all it is, striving.

Try as hard as you want, a point of view will come forward in your story. Open any newspaper from the Thirties or Forties, check the sports page; the guy who wrote up the box score, did he have a political point of view? He probably didn't think so. But viewed with 70 or 80 years of hindsight, covering a baseball game where blacks weren't allowed to play without mentioning the fact, that's apology and advocacy. Any journalist with half a brain knows that the biases of our time are always buried in our coverage."


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