Thursday, May 25, 2017

Much in what he says …

… Notes of a Reformed News Weasel: Understanding the Vacuity | Fred On Everything. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Ask journalists when they were last in a truck stop on an Interstate, last in Boone, North Carolina or Barstow, California or any of thousands of such towns across the country. Ask whether they were in the military, whether they have ever talked to a cop or an ambulance crewman or a fireman. Ask whether they have a Mexican friend, when they last ate in a restaurant where a majority of the customers were black. Whether they know an enlisted man, or anyone in the armed services. Whether they have hitchhiked overnight, baited a hook, hunted, or fired a rifle. Whether they have ever worked washing dishes, harvesting crops, driving a delivery truck. Whether they have a blue-collar friend. Know what the Texas Two-Step is, have been in a biker bar.
But what he says is not only true of journalists. And it used to not be true of journalists.


  1. I find this a bit tendentious. Are we qualifying the writers to file a story on a court case or fire, or to write the next candidate for the great American novel?

  2. A former colleague of mine at The Inquirer, who went to journalism school (I did not), told me recently that he learned more in one month working for an upstate newspaper than in had in four years at J-school. Journalists used to have experience beyond the bubble of urban cocktail parties. They usually had done of lot of other things besides journalism (I had).