The answer is capital-E-Education. On a massive, ambitious, Hoover dam, Omaha Beach, “We choose to go to the moon, not because it is easy, but because it is hard,” scale. And not the kind of nouveau chic education that makes Techcrunch headlines like mandatory mandarin or coding for kindergarteners. I’m talking about the unsexy, boring, armchairs-and-elbow patches kind of stuff:
Jeffrey T Webb
Amen. In an America Watch on the Ben Rhodes reveal I used the rot quote.
Frankly, journalism today is full of rubber stamp reporters. Rhodes knows that is how he is able to sell the stories his way. Samuels mentions the news shift to social media that we witness each day, and then quotes Rhodes:
“All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” he said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”
I’ve heard the same know-nothing complaint made about policy advisors in DC and I’ve experienced it in US journalism. Ability to write seems to replace rather than augment considerations of knowledge or expertise. This is one of the reasons I still prefer British papers outside of local news. The know-nothing problem has not fully migrated across the Atlantic yet.
Research could solve some of this problem, but in the first-to-post race that has become US news, who has time for that?
In an email discussion not long ago, an editor advised the group I represented to reorganise our research presentation. In modern web magazines, writers have no time to do research, he said. If we wanted a topic to get coverage, then we should spoon feed our studies to the writers.
I respect the practical point to make the good information easy to find and understand. But, once upon a time, the value in education was learning how to tell when someone was talking rot or not. I gather that they no longer teach those skills in journalism school.