Here’s to the return of the journalist as malcontent

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NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Republican president-elect Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

 

By Kyle Pope

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Columbia Journalism Review

Wednesday November 9th, 2016

 

Here’s to the return of the journalist as malcontent

Republican president-elect Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown on November 9, 2016 in New York City.

JOURNALISM’S MOMENT of reckoning has arrived.

Its inability to understand Donald Trump’s rise over the last year, ending in his victory Tuesday night, clearly stand among journalism’s great failures, certainly in a generation and probably in modern times.

Reporters’ eagerness first to ridicule Trump and his supporters, then dismiss them, and finally to actively lobby and argue for their defeat have led us to a moment when the entire journalistic enterprise needs to be rethought and rebuilt. In terms of bellwether moments, this is our anti-Watergate.

Already the finger-pointing deconstructions have begun. Yes, social media played a role, enclosing reporters in echo chambers that made it hard, if not impossible, for them to hear contrarian voices; yes, the brutal economics of the news business hurt all our efforts, decimating newsrooms around the country and leaving fewer people to grapple with what was a gargantuan story; and yes, reporters can be forgiven, at least initially, for laughing off a candidate whose views and personality seemed so outside the norm of a serious contender for the White House.

While all those things are true, journalism’s fundamental failure in this election, its original sin, is much more basic to who we are and what we are supposed to be. Simply put, it is rooted in a failure of reporting.

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Read More HERE

Kyle Pope is the Editor in Chief and Publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review.

 

 

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Well worth reading the entire article. Kyle is bang on.

    I’m no Trump fan and tangled in the past with VancouverTVGuy, among others. I still think many of them are way off course to believe that the alleged criminality of Obama had much to do with the zealous support for Trump. After all, Obama still has an approval rating above 50 percent.

    But it was Trump’s message and the fact no less flawed GOP rival channeled it that got him the nomination. Bernie, in many ways, sounded the same “system-is-rigged” theme. Would he have beaten Donald? Probably not as America is still wary of hard-left solutions. With his past positions, Bernie would doubtless have been just as branded as Crooked Hillary by Trump.

    Anyway, congrats to Trumpians for calling this. Just don’t blow a gasket if Donald moderates and compromises to achieve deals.

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