Thursday, May 17, 2018

Reporters Hate Their Readers, the Feeling's Mutual, and It’s been that Way for a Long Time

By An Old Friend

Those darned readers: The gap between reporters and the general public is huge
By John Leo
April 19, 2000 /14 Nissan, 5760
Jewish World Review -- WHY DO SO MANY AMERICANS distrust what they in read in their newspapers? The American Society of Newspaper Editors, which met last week in Washington, is trying to answer this painful question. The organization is deep into a long self-analysis known as the Journalism Credibility Project. Sad to say, this project has turned out to be mostly low-level dithering about factual errors and spelling and grammar mistakes, combined with lots of head-scratching puzzlement about what in the world those darned readers really want.

But the sources of distrust go way deeper. For a better focus, ASNE might want to listen to columnist Michael Kelly and Peter Brown, an editor at The Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel. Kelly writes, almost casually, that "most journalists learn to see the world through a set of standard templates into which they plug each days's events." In other words, there is a conventional story line in the newsroom culture that provides a backbone and a ready-made narrative structure for otherwise confusing news.

Peter Brown's work finds a social and cultural disconnect between journalists and their readers. It also helps explain why the "standard templates" of the newsroom seem alien to many readers. With the help of a professional pollster, Brown sent questionnaires to reporters in five middle-sized cities around the country, plus one large metropolitan area, Dallas-Fort Worth. Then residents in these communities were phoned at random and asked the same questions.

Replies show that compared with other Americans, journalists are more likely to live in upscale neighborhoods, have maids, own Mercedes [?] and trade stocks, and less likely to go to church, do volunteer work or put down roots in a community. Journalists are overrepresented in ZIP code areas where residents are twice as likely as other Americans to rent foreign movies, drink chablis, own an espresso maker, and read magazines such as Architectural Digest and Food & Wine.

Remember, these aren't reporters for The New York Times or The Washington Post. The gap is between reporters and their neighbors in Dayton, Ohio; Tulsa, Okla.; Syracuse, N.Y.; Roanoke, Va.; and Chico/Redding, Calif., plus Dallas and Fort Worth.

Brown found that the disconnect carries over to social attitudes: Journalists are far more likely than other Americans to approve of abortion, to express disdainful attitudes toward suburbs and rural areas, and to identify strongly with people who see themselves as victims of society.

Reporters tend to be part of a broadly defined social and cultural elite, so their work tends to reflect the conventional values of this elite. The astonishing distrust of the news media isn't rooted in inaccuracy or poor reportorial skills, but in the daily clash of world views between reporters and their readers. Brown says of journalists: "They simply do not share political, religious or monetary values with the general population."

[“The astonishing distrust of the news media isn't rooted in inaccuracy…” Au contraire: Lefty media operatives routinely lie, and readers know this.]

This is an explosive situation for any industry, particularly a declining one. Here is a troubled business that keeps hiring employees whose attitudes vastly annoy the customers. Then it sponsors lots of symposiums and a credibility project dedicated to wondering why customers are annoyed and fleeing in large numbers. But it never seems to get around to noticing the cultural and class biases that so many former buyers are complaining about. If it did, it would open up its diversity program, now focused narrowly on race and gender, and look for reporters who differ broadly by outlook, values, education and class.

The values of accountants and plumbers don't matter much to customers, but those of reporters are crucial. They determine which stories are selected and omitted, and how important the stories will feel to readers. The brutal torture-murder of Matthew Shepard was a big story and deserved to be. But shortly after, two homosexuals were charged with committing a crime just as horrendous -- kidnaping, torturing and murdering a young Arkansas boy -- with almost no national media coverage at all. Probable explanation: This was another "standard template" in action; in the newswoom culture, important and newsworthy violence is the kind conducted by the powerful (whites, straights, males, the West) against members of groups considered weak. Since the boy's murder didn't fit the template, it had no symbolic value and went unreported.

The same filter applies to good news. After racial preferences were ended at state universities in California and Texas, the numbers of blacks and Hispanics attending these colleges dipped briefly, then rebounded to the old levels. Great news if you could find it. But it didn't fit the relevant newsroom story line -- that racial justice absolutely requires preference programs -- so the story was widely delayed, omitted or stuffed way back in the paper.

[I beg to differ here with Leo. If racial preferences were ended in California and Texas, yet black and Hispanic student numbers quickly bounced back, it’s because university administrators were stealthily breaking the law.]

These are the distortions to expect when the newsroom comes to look like a monoculture. It's time to try some diversity.


Anonymous said...

What's a Meghan Markle--and why does Lesta Holt find her so fascinating?
(Hint:She's half black).
Negro Nightly News seems especially fond of reporting that Prince Harry has gone to the dark side.
"An American woman will join the Royal Family Saturday...yada yada yada."
Lesta has kept us up to date on the white father--who tried to take photos and get paid for it,while showing pics of the black mother.He reported on the woman(Princess Michael) who put down Markle by wearing "a racist brooch" that supposedly represented North African slavery.
Other rumored putdowns have appeared.
Lesta was pleased to report that Harry really loves Africa,especially its wilderness and grasslands (and Harry is proving that preference by marrying some half-black bush.)
Why would Harry marry a black?Probably still rebellious--he always has been.My impression of her is that she's more hardened and not as classy as Prince William's wife and looking to make a name for herself.
Either way,I'll put the over/under at 3 years for divorce.
And that's your Royal Wedding report from Grand Rapids.
--GR Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Interesting that this "fake preferential news"was already occurring in the year 2000.Now,you would think,the author would be extremely dumbfounded at the total lack of objectivity in the press and TV news(is he still alive and writing?)
As I type this,I'm trying to pinpoint how it all got started.I know "All in the Family" referred to Walter Cronkite as" that pinko",but whenever I saw him,or Brinkley or others at the time,I never detected a liberal viewpoint(too young?)
Much of this had to have started with Ronald Reagan--attacked at the time,as "dumb and unqualified"--similar to Trump is now.
In fact all the Republican presidents were painted that way,though in "W" Bush's case--probably spot on--and the old man wasn't too swift either.
On the other hand,Dems have had a free pass from the media going back to at least Kennedy--the only exception being Cronkites rebuke of LBJ's Vietnam policy in 1968.Carter probably was dismissed as well by the media for his "Southerness",but still preferred over klutzy Ford and hocum spewing,Reagan.

Ahh,the good old days.
---GR Anonymous

Anonymous said...

jerry pdx
Why let the blacks get all the race hoax benefits? After a wave of blacks finding racial slurs written on receipts, their cars etc... a latino man finds "beaner" imprinted on his Starbucks coffee cup:
Whenever one of these stories pops up a number of questions come to mind. What race was the clerk who served the customer? Was he or she hispanic or black? How do we know the "victim" didn't write the slur themselves? In this case though, the word "beaner" appeared to be typed onto the label so it couldn't have been handwritten, though someone with even minimal computer skills and a label printer could create a phony label. I recall a black waitress a couple years ago that got a 10,000 dollar payout for a slur handwritten on a receipt, for that much creating a fake computer label would be worth the effort. Point is these incidents get treated by the media as gospel truth without even minimal investigation to determine if they are credible. Maybe that's one of the reasons people hate the media.

Anonymous said...

jerry pdx
Maybe even more odd about the choice of Markle is that she is 36 yrs. old, not exactly the prime years for bearing healthy children, plus when she hits 40 and has popped out a few kids she may well hit the wall and the 3 years younger Prince Harry could start gazing longingly at those 20 something that he can still easily get. I give it 5 yrs. at the most and then Markle turns into the neurotic basket case Diana was, banging different men to get revenge on Harry and publicly complaining about how marrying into the royal family has made her life miserable.

Anonymous said...

Breaking news:
Santa Fe Texas high school has a shootout with multiple fatalities and at least 3 injured.The shooter was arrested.
So much for no more shootings after Florida and the ensuing protests.Around graduation,there seems to be an uptick.I expect more of them into June..
--GR Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Update:8 dead at Santa Fe high school.

Anonymous said...

The situation is actually quite simple--the overwhelming majority of media people are leftist pinko commies who hate white middle class Americans. The media scum would like to destroy everything good about America and make it a third world multicultural hellhole ruled by their elite friends from within gated communities. And no, the Matthew Shepherd story did not deserve the publicity given it by the media. The media wanted to make it a story about how straight, white, rural depolorables had committed a hate crime against a helpless homosexual. This propaganda was taught in schools as part of the leftist agenda. The truth was that Shepherd was killed by a rival drug dealer and fellow homosexual who probably had been Shepherd's homosexual lover. There used to be a term police used to describe especially brutal crimes by homosexuals: "homosexual overkill." Of course it is now politically incorrect to indicate that homosexuals can be vicious killers--now we are supposed to believe they are all angels.

Anonymous said...

Student arrested,identified by CBS as Dimitrios Pagourtzis--wearing a trenchcoat with USSR sewn on the back.It appears the majority of school shootings are being carried out by certain ethnic fringe types-possibly having anti-American
Nikolas Cruz,Syed Farook in San Bernadino,Omar Mateen in Orlando,Seung Hui Cho in Blacksburg,Va are just examples of non WASP/White Catholics doing most of the murdering.
The Las Vegas mass shooting by Stephen Braddock has not been solved--no motive attributed,though there appeared to be an anti-white theme to his choice of potential murder sites.
The more that these types are allowed in,the more you risk people finding out that America may not be the panacea for foreigners--that they may be better off in their own countries.
There will be more dissatisfied individuals wanting to lash out at our citizens,blaming them for their unsuccessful lives--much of it because they can't assimilate--due to low intelligence,a lack of English speaking ability etc.
They are growing in numbers--thanks to immigration (legal and illegal).
This can only continue and increase as the USA's demographics deteriorate to a less European population.
More to come.
--GR Anonymous