6 Comments
Jan 6Liked by Daniel

It's interesting to contrast this post with this one on ACX: https://www.astralcodexten.com/p/the-media-very-rarely-lies. Maybe we already live in a world where factual lies in the media are quite rare, but that still doesn't prevent all kinds of bias and misleading to creep in. What further standards do we need to bring journalism to a higher standard?

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I did enjoy the linked ACX post, although I think I've got a somewhat more hostile view of the media than Scott does. I mentioned above that the standards current journalism has are basically "Nothing that gets one sued for libel" and "Nothing that is known to be provably factually false at time of publishing" - but those are pretty pathetic guardrails.

I'd advocate for a harsh distinction between "reporting" and "commentary", where they are legally mandated to be labelled as such, and where "reporting" is literally just a dry listing of known facts. But we're well past that sort of thing.

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Jan 7Liked by Daniel

And the 'not provably factually false at the time of publishing' guardrail is pretty weak; there have been multiple instances where the news articles were directly contradicted by the transcripts.

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Right? I wouldn't think it's a high bar, and yet...

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Jan 6Liked by Daniel

Journalism didn't become a "respected" profession until the 1970s; perhaps not coincidentally when colleges started setting up journalism programs. Before that, journalists were blue-collar workers, with very little respect (see, e.g., _The Front Page_, _His Girl Friday_, _Ace in the Hole_, etc.) None of these reporters were portrayed as noble.

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That's an interesting point; I hadn't considered how journalism was viewed over time.

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