Bloggers are not news-gatherers, but opinion-mongers. I have long argued that no one should be allowed to write opinion without spending years as a reporter -- nothing like interviewing all four eyewitnesses to an automobile accident and then trying to write an accurate account of what happened. Or, as author-journalist Curtis Wilkie puts it, "Unless you can cover a five-car pile-up on Route 128, you shouldn't be allowed to cover a presidential campaign."Perhaps that explains some of the coverage we get of politics. Reporters go out and interview a Democrat and a Republican about something. They disagree. The reporter writes up their comments and that's it. No attempt to figure out to go beyond the talking points and to figure out anything about the veracity of the talking points. Or if, as usually is the case, there is a smidgeon of truth in each statement, to figure out what else may be going on. Perhaps you need more than the experience of interviewing eyewitnesses to a car accident to be able to do that.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Tom Elia wonders at Molly Ivins' revealing statement that only reporters have the necessary background to write opinion pieces. Apparently, they are the only ones with the skills to get at facts. Forget trained lawyers, economists, or historians. Those are negligible skills, according to Molly Ivins, compared to interviewing witnesses at a traffic accident. That statement speaks quite a lot about why reporters like Ivins so resent bloggers.
Posted by Betsy Newmark at 10:14 AM