November 2, 2007

Is This Too Funny or Too Sad?

An alert Rhetorica reader pointed out this blog post by Katharine Q. Seelye regarding this report by the Project for Excellence in Journalism (more about this soon).

(I’ll pause a moment while you chuckle.)

Question: Do journalists believe in a reality that can actually break through the walls of journalistic culture (made strong by the mortar of the master narrative) to affect journalistic practice?

Another way to ask that: Will Seelye and her cohort now cover politics differently by, say, telling a different story?

Of course not. The stuff political journalists discover in the real world is only the plot fodder of the news story. It doesn’t actually have any reality for them. In a very real sense, political reporters in America are short-story writers.

So don’t expect any head-slap moments from the press.

(On a personal note, I love seeing ideas I’ve been discussing on Rhetorica, for more than five years, finally getting a little traction. Not that my role in that has been large. In any case, keep an eye out for my upcoming essay in Media Ethics regarding press coverage of the pre-primary process.)

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