American news is always so busy, and I pushed back to this week a topic I wanted to discuss with you. Last week, journalists from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) have sent a letter to the management. The purpose of this letter signed by 280 of them? That there should be a clearer distinction between the facts reported by journalists, the news, and the content of the section “opinions”. One of the criticisms in the section a lack of transparency and a verification of the facts is sometimes incomplete.
This phenomenon of mixing up of genres is not new, but it seems to be gaining in importance since the development of web-based platforms. If journalists are concerned, is that it goes to their credibility. Some business models rely first on the opinion because it is what sells the most. A reflex is understandable when we know how the media are struggling to be profitable.
Ask the journalists from the WSJ to limit confusion? A clearer distinction between the sections for the web version, greater transparency on the orientations of the authors, and the recognition of the right of newspaper journalists to critique articles in section “opinion”, if only to restore the facts.
Very many of the debates rocking the world of the media in the United States. I can’t avoid interesting me because I comment and analysis that produce these media to bring here my small contribution. A simple look at the comments at the bottom of my blog confirms that here, too, readers are caught by the confusion of the genres.
When I am asked to write a column or a blog post, I am not asked to work as a journalist. We already have a experienced team for this component of the information of the Newspaper , and I do not have this training. It asks me to basically take the facts, and analyze it in terms of my expertise and of my experience.
If I am aware of the mandate that you entrusted to me, I am also particularly sensitive to the responsibility placed on me at the time of publication. My fellow columnists and bloggers are also. Whether or not you share the result of the thinking or the analysis that I propose, I make sure I regularly provide my sources and to support my comments with facts.
I can only encourage initiatives such as that of journalists in the WSJ (those of the New York Times have done the same approach). Not only it is necessary to distinguish between the job of the journalist to that of a columnist or blogger, but it is also necessary to ensure that the views do not become synonymous with misinformation.
Strong views have their place and it is then up to the readers to get an idea, but these opinions must be based on verifiable facts, and the more transparency is required. We are demanding and very critical of the power holders. The media, the fourth power, hold a lot. Despite the hectic pace of the news cycle, not spared ever on the verification of the facts.