Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Fourth Estate...

"Power never concedes anything without a demand.
It never has and it never will."
Frederick Douglass
I found this at once amusing and interesting today. I just wanted to share. Earlier, while reading through the list of blogs I follow, I read this headline at Lynn Sweet's blog:
Burris Enters Capitol peacefully; media hordes greet him." No comment had been posted yet, I left this: Hey Lynn, What did you expect a fight? You do Mr. Burris and Blacks a disservice by using these code-laden words. Just now, after signing in, I went back to Lynn's blog hoping to engage in some intelligent discussion. Instead I found my comment was never posted but now, the headline reads: "Burris Enters Capitol; media hordes greet him." The post is the same, only the headline changed. I left this: Lynn, Since you didn't print my comment (it was the very first one on this post too!) about your "FIRST" headline - "Burris Enters Capitol peacefully; media hordes greet him" - I probably shouldn't expect this one to printed either. But it's worth a shot. I see you DID delete the "peacefully." That's a start I guess. Now, we just have to work on owning our mistakes and asking ourselves why we did them in the first place. What do you think? I'm not telling anyone what they should, or should not do on their own blog, but I have to say -I'm disappointed. I've been reading Lynn Sweet at least since the Changeling threw his hat in ring. I read her because she seemed to be doing what journalists should be doing according to their code of ethics:
  • Seek truth and report it
  • Minimize harm
  • Act independently
  • Be accountable (includes admitting mistakes and correcting them promptly and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct)

(Yes I was paying close attention in class!).

Lynn Sweet knew the territory better than anyone else I'd read out of Chicago. Often I would read background information about him in her columns that I hadn't seen anywhere else. She was fair, and gave the reader as balanced a look as possible no matter the player or the issue. And working in the land of Capone, I'm sure that was no mean feat. I liked the fact she'd been around for awhile - "seasoned" as it were.

But since the President-select was selected, I've seen a change and again, I have to say I'm disappointed. I will not stop reading her because of what happened today. It will just be with a more critical eye that I do so.

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