Saturday, April 3, 2010

why I'm no longer linking to "news"

I was reading a New York Times article about Hugo Chavez and noticing how very easy it would be to reframe it: it's presented as the story of an honest judge unjustly imprisoned, but it could as easily be about a corrupt one caught taking bribes. I'm sure there are people who read it and thought it was objective. Even if it's true that the judge did not take a bribe, the story is not objective.

Some quotes from Media Quotes, Journalism Sayings. Something about the subject brings out the best in people; I could've quoted all of them.

"If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed." —Unknown, commonly attributed to Mark Twain or Thomas Jefferson

"The old saw says, "Let a sleeping dog lie." Right. Still, when there is much at stake it is better to get a newspaper to do it." — Mark Twain

"The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything. Except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesman-like habits, supplies their demands." —Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism, 1891

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." —Malcolm X

"If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from Hell before breakfast." —William Tecumseh Sherman

"I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers." —Gandhi

And, should you hear that the internet is ruining people's ability to read:

"The faculty of attention has utterly vanished from the Anglo-Saxon mind, extinguished at its source by the big bayadère of journalism, of the newspaper and the picture magazine which keeps screaming, "Look at me." Illustrations, loud simplifications... bill poster advertising - only these stand a chance." —Henry James