“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Appalled and Amazed

I don’t know whether to be appalled or amazed at what passes for news media leadership in this town.

One of the great ironies of the upheaval in journalism has to do with the legacy media’s view of blogs and bloggers. On one hand, they chastise bloggers for not adhering to the same standards of journalism as the mainstream news outlets. It’s a legitimate concern, but on the other hand, they have adopted blogging like it’s going to save them.

That stampede into cyberspace gives one blogger at the Amarillo Globe-News, and a top manager to boot, the chance to prove she doesn’t know what she is talking about.

In her blog posted March 27, Dawn Dressler, the executive editor who has led the newsroom to new lows, waxes about the role of newspapers in watchdog journalism. She implies that the Glob does that kind of journalism. Maybe she thinks keeping minutes of the various commission meetings is watchdog journalism. I think the closest the Globe-News comes to being a watchdog is running in AP copy from the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

I think it’s so totally laughable that Dressler would think she has any legitimate claim to even discuss watchdog journalism.

Nor is Dressler able to correctly tell students about what the United States Constitution really says about journalism. She wrote, “Our founding fathers knew the importance of keeping a watchdog in the house when they made journalism the only job protected by the Constitution -- something school students who frequently tour the Globe-News never know when asked.”

Jeez, Dawn, maybe they “never” know because they know better. The Constitution doesn’t protect any job class. Journalists have no special privileges. In fact, that’s why we’re fighting for shield laws. What the Constitution protects is free speech for everyone — even you.

Keep on blogging and I’ll keep being appalled at your lack of knowledge and amazed you’d post it without checking your facts.