July 9, 2009

Who Makes These (Editorial) Decisions?

Paul Krugman asks: Who makes these decisions? The answer is simple: journalists. And the answer isn’t even the least bit surprising. Making editorial decisions — specifically what counts as news and what doesn’t, and who counts as a source and who doesn’t, and what counts as knowledge and what doesn’t (re: my field theory blog essay) — is precisely a part of the cognitive and practical structure (the epistemology) at the foundation of the definition of journalism.

But that’s a problem.

Why? Well, bias.

But it’s also a problem because, IMO, journalists do not get the kind of training in critical theory/thinking necessary to be massively humbled in the face of the job they propose to do, i.e. give citizens the information they need to be free and self-governing.

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