The Chart’s email request for story ideas

[email protected]

Ok, I’m gonna get a rant off here. Groupwise is down so I’m submitting my response here.

As an Alum of the Department, I have to say that there needs to be some more attention devoted to the responsibilty of the the press. Media organizations have become so corporatist that the best of television “news” amounts to little more than “official statement reading.” (The worst , of course, are the perfume-counter sales-girls who can barely read the teleprompter, much less think critically.)

How can the marketplace of ideas function when the press uncritically adopts the disingenous rhetorical frames of one (very narrow) band of the political spectrum?

Why do major US newspapers then adopt the shifting rhetoric of government officials when that focus-group-tested shift is implemented only to improve the public’s response to a policy initiative?

Maybe you should do a story on the ethics of the Bush administration’s use of tax dollars to finance working pundits like Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher, and Michael McManus, who were paid to to flack for administration policies, but did not disclose this when pushing those proposals in the mass media.

DO MSSU mass comm majors have the background to defend/promote ethical journalism practices?

Jayson Blair created a huge stink by making things up during his stay at the NY Times. We thought *that* was an ethical breach. But it seems many American “journalists” on the national level are too busy, too lazy, or too afraid to do anything but parrot the rhetoric of the Right. Who is calling out the made-up stuff now? Certainly not the mainstream press.

As an ivory tower training ground for journalists, in a publicly-funded instution, the Chart should consider this to be very important subject matter. Reporters shouldn’t be tape recorders with make up and hairspray, they should be defenders of integrity. They should seek and expose truth. Otherwise, they are hacks. Period.

To those who would worry about rousing the nutjobs on campus, I say this: Forget about (read:expose) the moronic brownshirts. Talk about what matters.

If I get another request for story ideas anytime this year, you’re really gonna hear it.I mean it.

Craig Jones, MSSU 2004