Thursday, January 31, 2008

More on lack of trust

Following up Alistair Campbells words on the publics perception of the press and the lack of trust,an interesting piece over at Poynter Online by Roy Peter Clark.

The dangers of this lack of trust are all too obvious in that the press loses its position as the fourth estate od the guardians of checks and balances.

Clark attempts to formulate why this has happened,proposing a number of reasons including the fact that

All journalists understand that the personal bias of the writer or photographer can ooch its way into a story, which is why the protocols of "objectivity" were established to create checks and balances within the systems of news judgment, reporting, writing, editing and publishing. But sometimes the system fails.
but he

holds journalists less responsible -- and the public more responsible -- for misperceptions of news media performance
including an interesting example of why

Media credibility continues to fall during a period when America's political culture has become dangerously polarized. On radio talk show after talk show, in best-seller after best-seller, an industry has grown up with many agendas. Among the greatest of the agendas is to destroy the credibility of the mainstream press. A case can be made that sensitivity to such criticism -- along with accusations that journalists are disloyal to American interests -- softened the skeptical edge of the news media during the lead-up to the Iraqi war.

How do we put thios right? Clark offers some solutions of which one may be a path to go down

Journalists tend to despise public relations and marketing, but if we believe in our calling, we may have to find ways to reveal our best practices and best consequences to anyone who might be receptive. Let's remind them of the journalists who have risked their lives as war correspondents, or who have worked hard to create an environment on the home front

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