Their findings: just 21 percent of the people surveyed ranked newspaper reporters with high or very high honesty and ethical standards. Next came lawyers, tying with 21 percent, followed by TV reporters at 20 percent, then advertisers at a miserable 14 percent.
I wasn’t too surprised by that, as you may have already figured out on your own. I didn’t think it was worth mentioning either, until I read a takedown of Greenwald at Cryptome, which is pretty decent if you’re not Greenwald I suppose, but throughout it I was reminded of the shifting sands and tides that all people go through, not just journalists, and the fact that I myself have become somewhat lazy in going with people who I trust, never actually digging into what they report, or don’t as the case may be, before I pass it along to you. Hence the question posed itself.
The Poynter piece pointed out that trust in journalism fell in the late 1970s, along with Americans losing trust in their institutions, which I’m not sure isn’t changing demographics, since I don’t recall anyone having any trust in institutions in the sixties either, but perhaps by the late 70s the parents were just catching up with the hippies and freaks. You can see Murdock’s angle, no? You can fool some of the people all of the time pops into my mind, but I digress. Following my previous point, this is where the intrepid cub reporter reader does some fantastic research into that topic and writes the clarifying and definitive opinion piece on the whole matter and dutifully submits it to you for your edification and my glory, fame and fortune, not necessarily in that order mind you.
But I can’t overlook the impression that quite a bit of journalism is not much more than blogging with a steady check, and a lot of news organizations are merely passing tilapia off as cod and cat-fish, because no one knows what the real deal smells and tastes like anyway, and perhaps explains the advertisers somewhat less than journalists stellar trust rating, because more people probably know more about fish than facts, and yet I present myself with another worthwhile topic for further research for your edification, etc., which we all know ain’t gonna happen.
I can see why Twitter is so popular now. You don’t even have to put up the pretense of being a journalist. Given what I said so truthfully and honestly IMHO, in my opinion of Brooks opinion, I should be a Tweeter too. Now I have to research why my lazy ass won’t tweet, and that could go all the way back to childhood when I wanted to live in the late 15th century and grow up to be Pocahontas, and I know she was a woman and I have no desire to be that, but she was famous, so fortune was sure to follow in the mythical America where all journalist are honest and forthright all the time, and besides all I really know about Hiawatha I learned watching a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Or something. This modern age frightens and confuses me, as you know.
Anyway, the links are worth reading, especially to someone if that someone makes some money off the eyeballs, which reminds me that now that you can donate money to me by email I have upped the ante and will only accepted large denomination bills sent through a string, preferably routed through the ISS.