As a reporter in college we were told to report from the middle, no lean, just report the facts as you know them. So you make the calls, visit the newsmakers, go to the news events, ask the questions. If anything seems off, you ask more questions, find more people to ask, and you don’t report what you don’t know to be true after getting said answers to said questions. But lookie here, we now have a new term to add to our reporting arsenal, “Alternative Facts”.
What if we could report whatever we wanted? I’m not personally disputing the size of Trump’s inauguration attendance. I’m not a crowd counter, and I don’t find it important in the grand scheme of things. But the more important point, is this the new normal? Reporters call out one of the administrations assertions, but then leave it alone and don’t start to investigate or uncover (maybe they’re in process, who knows.)? Are they that concerned for their jobs or is it something more?
I’ve vacillated for a few months about whether I’m happy to report National News or am I happy not to report it. Today, I’d really like to be reporting National News, because it’s becoming multi-layered and super compelling.
Before Sunday I was in a bubble, but I’ve emerged and I’m ready to dive in to REAL News, News that Matters, Not Alternative News.
Even Miriam Webster’s Dictionary jumped into the Alternative Facts Fray, after searches of the word Fact spiked. This is new, people searching the word fact to see what it actually means?
A lot of my associates in the business and others I’ve just plain read about are concerned for the future of journalism. Are we entering an age where propaganda is the norm or good old fashioned Yellow Journalism makes a comeback?
What do you think?