What’s the point of having political reporters then? Why not cut out the middleman, get free from the middleman, and just reprint press releases from each party? (From today’s Kaplan reporter chat):
Reader:Paul, I’m guessing you won’t be sympathetic to the following point, but I’ll put it out there anyway. Most reporting on the supercommittee–like most reporting on the deficit–reflects an acceptance of a basic fallacy. Whenever there is an impasse, there seems to be a desire to blame both sides equally, on the theory that if only Democrats would concede more, Republicans would reciprocate (all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding). Yes, Democrats have drawn lines in the sand, but as Greg Sargent and other commentators have documented, when you compare the specifics, there is no factual basis for blaming both parties equally. So my question is, why does the Post’s coverage do so anyway, either explicitly or implicitly?
Paul Kane: Yeah, you’re right. I think this point is just absurd and ridiculous. This is a big thing among folks calling it “moral equivalence” (Fallows, Ornstein) and others calling it the “cult of balance” (Krugman).
It’s just stupid. If you want someone to tell you that Republicans stink, read opinion pages. Read blogs. Also, the underlying sentiment on the left is that this is the real reason why things went wrong in 2010: That the mainstream media is to blame. Sorry, I think that’s the sorta head-in-sand outlook that leads to longer term problems for a movement.
Greg is a fine writer. He’s an opinion writer, in the opinion section of the web site. I encourage you to keep reading him. And I encourage you to keep reading the news coverage, which should always strive to present both sides of the story. If you really don’t want to hear anything about the other side of the story, I really do encourage you to stop reading the news section.
In other words, accurately describing what is going on, that’s opinion writing. Just stating what each believes, that’s journalism.
I tend to believe that in the end, if you want people to consume your stuff, you have to add value. Where’s the added value in transcribing what each party says about things? I could easily just go to the RNC and DNC websites and read what is written there.
I can’t see how outlets like the Washington Post will exist at all in a few years, except as full-time propagandists in favor of for-profit education. Even then, you could catapult that propaganda more effectively if you put out a higher quality product on the topics that don’t touch on your business interests.