Professional Journalists Cover the Shutdown

Journalist Dan Froomkin, who has worked for the Washington Post and the Huffington Post, makes an excellent point about the responsibility of the press in situations like the government shutdown. The article is called “Shutdown Coverage Fails Americans”:

The political media’s aversion to doing anything that might be seen as taking sides — combined with its obsession with process — led them to actively obscure the truth in their coverage of the votes [in Congress]. If you did not already know what this was all about, reading the news would not help you understand.

Trying to be fair and balanced by splitting the difference between Democrats and Republicans when one side is doing something truly extreme is neither fair nor balanced.

Mr. Froomkin’s opinion piece is available at the link below and is definitely worth reading. It’s Al Jazeera America’s website. Al Jazeera, based in Qatar, recently started a news channel on American cable TV. It’s available in our area, but we would have to pay extra to watch it, even though CNN and Fox News are included in the package we already have. Based on the straightforward way they deliver news on their website, I’d rather get information from Al Jazeera America than CNN or Fox.

Note: At the end of his article, Mr. Froomkin puts in a plug for a new website he’s starting called “Fearless Media”, but that’s o.k. Self-promotion is an honorable American tradition.

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/10/1/reporting-governmentshutdowndemocracy.html

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