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Jay Rosen and The Four Ideas of Journalism

Jay Rosen has been talking, writing, and singing (unconfirmed) about journalism for 25 years now, and today he took to his blog Press Think to dispense what he’s learned about the subject during that time.

Rosen breaks journalism down to four ideas:

  1. The more people who participate in the press the stronger it will be.
  2. The profession of journalism went awry when it began to adopt the View from Nowhere.
  3. The news system will improve when it is made more useful to people.
  4. Making facts public does not a public make; information alone will not inform us.

We especially like idea number four, and always have. The thought that reporters and others are unbiased is ridiculous, and as Rosen explains, leads to mistrust among the public:

The problem is equating trustworthiness with the prohibition on taking sides, when the actual result may be exasperation with he said, she said, rage at the helplessness that ‘leaving it there’ creates, and mistrust of the formulaic ways in which journalists try to advertise their even-handedness.

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