Friday, June 25, 2010

Journalism Class

The Huffington Post has an interesting interview with Michael Hastings, who wrote the Rolling Stone story on Stanley McChrystal, which ultimately led to his firing. At the end comes this interesting exchange:
(HuffPo) In the hypercompetitive media world, some of the reaction to your story has been a little negative, that you have "hostile views" and that you're anti-war. Some have wondered how you could jeopardize your future access to sources. How do you respond to that?
(Hastings) Look, I went into journalism to do journalism, not advertising. My views are critical but that shouldn't be mistaken for hostile - I'm just not a stenographer. There is a body of work that shows how I view these issues but that was hard-earned through experience, not something I learned going to a cocktail party on fucking K Street. That's what reporters are supposed to do, report the story.
That is a great quote.

And this is ultimately why Michael Hastings is a journalist, and people like CNN's Ed Henry are not. Hastings cares about getting at the truth, and that's it. Ed Henry and the like care only for being invited back to posh sprinkler parties, and will never do, say or write anything that might jeopardize their access.

It's worth noting that Rolling Stone has featured some really good pieces of journalism of late, with Matt Taibbi's scathing Wall Street exposes and now Hastings piece. You can also find some pretty good journalism from Jon Stewart over at the Daily Show, who often posts extended online interviews that are more illuminating and honest than anything you'll ever find at Fox or CNN.

Do I wish that the mainstream media would do their jobs for once? Of course. But since they aren't, let's stop watching and reading them. Let's support actual journalists.

Here's to Michael Hastings!

1 comment:

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