Journalists: Do Your Job

Partially based on this post by Caleb Howe and partially based on this Blake Hounshell tweet, I’ve got a quick thought for journalists: How about actually doing your jobs?

I get it, you don’t like people on the Internet and social media telling you to do your job and all, but considering I used to do the job, too, I actually know what I’m talking about. Your job, as a journalist, is to tell a story and inform your readers as to what is going on. So, yeah, if a thing like the Clinton Foundation has attracted misbehaving donors, then you do report on it. It’s big and speaks to the nature of the original scandal. If someone says something, you have an obligation to report it accurately and without bias.

Your job is not to tell people how to think. In a free and open society, your job is to inform readers and viewers so that they may form their own opinions. You keep your views in check while presenting the information. Is it near impossible to keep all bias out of a story? Admittedly, yes. But, if you bring up all points and lets readers and viewers decide for themselves, you have done your job.

Stop whining about having to do your job, then, and just do it. And don’t complain when you get called out on it, because either you messed up and need to fix it or you’re dealing with partisans. You don’t become partisan yourself, because then you lose all validity. If your editor is messing with your story and ruining the point of it, raise the question. “Why did you do that? That changes everything.” Yes, your editor is your boss, but if your boss is refusing to explain why, then your boss isn’t a good one.

Of course, to the average reader here at RedState, all journalists have lost their validity, and I understand the sentiment. However, I’m still very close with a lot of people in the field and they get absolutely frustrated with all of their work being called into questions simply because they chose a career they loved – and it does take a love of the job to keep doing it at the local level (the kids in the national media are different beasts altogether…).