AP, Reuters Have Forgotten Their Roles

AP has forgotten its role in the news game as has Reuters. Today they WRITE the news rather than REPORT it. Reporting leaves no room for opinion unlike writing which is a creative endeavor. Journalists have become “writers” though just a few years ago they were called “reporters.” That is where the wire services and the media have gone astray and where truth became subservient to “The Story.”

Funny thing is that blurring the line between reporting and writing editorials has devalued both with the latter becoming shrill rather than reasoned just to stand out and attract attention. This has degraded content as well as broken trust with readers. Worse it has added to the divisiveness that permeates the public dialogue.

Journalists have fought for respect and credibility for a long time. Today they have less than ever. Is it any wonder?

More: National Journal Magazine/Stuart Taylor/9-20-2008: Campaign Lies, Media Double Standards

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Sarah Palin, the Associated Press and Accountability

Is the Associated Press trying to manufacture a controversy? John Hinderaker (PowerLineBlog.com) has uncovered the facts but at the crux is a single issue, an omission that slants the whole story titled “Palin supports $600 million ‘other’ bridge project.”

So what did Governor Palin do wrong? AP writer (Whatever happened to reporters?) Garance Burke makes his case in the third sentence.

A $600 million bridge and highway project to link Alaska’s largest city to Palin’s town of 7,000 residents is moving full speed ahead.”

Did the “Bridge to Nowhere” die while the “Bridge to Wasilla” lives? You’d think the good Governor was doing something unethical but according to Hinderaker

the proposed bridge would supply a more direct route to Anchorage from Fairbanks and other points north.”

Wasilla stands to benefit from the bridge but only because the proposed highway would go through the town. It is not a bridge to link Anchorage to Wasilla. If anything it is a bridge that links Anchorage to Fairbanks. Nowhere in the AP article is this fine point explained.

Such contrived reporting and the ensuing manipulation of public opinion have become all too common. This isn’t about Governor Palin, Senator McCain or even the election. It’s about integrity and accountability or lack thereof on the part of the AP and its staff.

Freedom of the press is one thing. Freedom to abuse the public’s trust it quite another.

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